livid-, liv- (Latin > French: bluish, livid; bluish color).
1. Discolored, as from a bruise: black-and-blue.
2. Pallid or ashen.
3. Very angry; furious.
Other forms include:
lividity, lividness, lividly.
The history of livid might be well described as "mottled." The Latin adjective lividus means 'dull, greyish or leaden blue', like the color of a dark bruise. The derivative adjective in French is livide, which was borrowed into English in the seventeenth century as livid. Early use of livid was primarily in describing flesh discolored by or as if by a bruise; it functioned more or less as a synonym of black-and-blue.
A slight extension of meaning had by the end of the eighteenth century given it the sense 'ashen or pallid', as in describing the appearance of a corpse. Livid came eventually to be used in this sense to characterize the complexion of a person pale with anger—"livid with rage."
In the twentieth century, two further extensions of meaning have caused livid to both gain color and to lose it. In part, presumably, because of association with words like lurid and vivid, and in part because an angry person is at least as likely to be red-faced as pallid, livid has acquired the sense 'reddish'. Its frequent occurrence in phrases like "livid with fury" has also given rise to a sense entirely unrelated to color, with livid now commonly functioning simply as a synonym of furious or enraged.
(Springfield, Massachusetts: Mirriam-Webster, Inc., 1989).