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1. Literally, to become reanimated, as of a person or animal that has died. The patient did die on the table, but she came alive once we used the defibrillator.
2. By extension, to become energized, especially after a period of inactivity or lethargy. A: "OK, schedule Tuesday's meeting, get John on the phone, and then come in my office so we can all discuss that big project." B: "Wow, you really came alive after that cup of coffee!" This team came out sleepwalking, but they've come alive in the second half.
3. To be or become engaging and believable. Any ideas for how we can make this story come alive?
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Also, come to life.
1. Become vigorous or lively. For example, It took some fast rhythms to make the dancers come alive, or As soon as he mentioned ice cream, the children came to life. The adjective alive has been used in the sense of "vivacious" since the 1700s. Also, the variant originally (late 1600s) meant "to recover from a faint or apparent death." [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
2. Appear real or believable, as in It's really hard to make this prose come to life. Also see look alive.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1 (of a subject or an event) become interesting and exciting: The game came alive in the second half.
2 (of a place) become busy and full of activity: The city starts to come alive after dark.
3 (of a person) show interest in something and become excited about it: She came alive as she talked about her job.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017