curriculum vitae

cur·​ric·​u·​lum vi·​tae | \ kə-ˈri-kyə-ləm-ˈvē-ˌtī How to pronounce curriculum vitae (audio) , -kə-ləm-, -ˈwē-ˌtī, -ˈvī-ˌtē How to pronounce curriculum vitae (audio) \
plural curricula vitae\ kə-​ˈri-​kyə-​lə-​ˈvē-​ˌtī How to pronounce curriculum vitae (audio) , -​kə-​lə-​ , -​ˈwē-​ˌtī , -​ˈvī-​ˌtē \

Definition of curriculum vitae

: a short account of one's career and qualifications prepared typically by an applicant for a position Applicants for the fellowship are asked to submit a curriculum vitae.

Keep scrolling for more

The Different Plural Forms of Curriculum

Curriculum is from New Latin (a post-medieval form of Latin used mainly in churches and schools and for scientific coinages), in which language it means “a course of study.” It shares its ultimate root in classical Latin, where it meant “running” or “course” (as in “race course”), with words such as corridor, courier, and currency, all of which come from Latin currere “to run.”

As is the case with many nouns borrowed directly from Latin, there is often some confusion as to the proper way to form its plural. Both curricula and curriculums are considered correct.

This word is frequently seen in conjunction with vitae; a curriculum vitae (Latin for “course of (one’s) life”) is “a short account of one's career and qualifications prepared typically by an applicant for a position” – in other words, a résumé. Curriculum vitae is abbreviated CV, and is pluralized as curricula vitae.

Examples of curriculum vitae in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Values are more important than relying on a curriculum vitae (CV) when hiring. François Cazor, Forbes, "How To Build Culture And Values At A Bootstrapped Company," 18 Mar. 2021 Time travel is not likely to make it onto the curriculum vitae of most executives any time soon – but the ability to see into the future may. Jean-marc Ollagnier, Forbes, "Business Leaders Must Be The New Futurists," 10 Mar. 2021 Consider the curriculum vitae of Mali’s coup plotters. Quartz Africa, "Does US military training incubate coups in Africa?," 30 Sep. 2020 In the hiring or vetting process, the employer may first ask for a resume, then grant you an interview, then request a curriculum vitae. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Items too important to store under the bed," 15 Sep. 2020 Resumes are more common in the world of work, but there are also CVs which is short for curriculum vitae. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "Are résumés and cover letters obsolete? Ask HR," 15 Sep. 2020 Yet for all its swashbuckling glitter, Peter Beard’s curriculum vitae was shot through with darkness. Margalit Fox,, "Peter Beard, wildlife photographer on the wild side," 20 Apr. 2020 Among the movies on his curriculum vitae are the Westerns The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid and The Outlaw Josie Wales, the erotic drama Henry & June and the Michael Crichton adaptation Rising Sun. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Right Stuff' Filmmaker Philip Kaufman Set for Lifetime Tribute From Cinémathèque Française," 6 Mar. 2020 Police drama End of Watch, tank war drama Fury, and the aforementioned big-budget actionfests Suicide Squad (basically a superhero version of Dirty Dozen) and Bright are on his curriculum vitae. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "David Ayer in Talks to Direct Remake of 'The Dirty Dozen' for Warner Bros.," 16 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'curriculum vitae.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of curriculum vitae

1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for curriculum vitae

Latin, course of (one's) life

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about curriculum vitae

Time Traveler for curriculum vitae

Time Traveler

The first known use of curriculum vitae was in 1902

See more words from the same year

Statistics for curriculum vitae

Last Updated

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Curriculum vitae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for curriculum vitae

curriculum vitae


English Language Learners Definition of curriculum vitae

chiefly British : a short document that describes your education, work experience, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on curriculum vitae

Nglish: Translation of curriculum vitae for Spanish Speakers

Comments on curriculum vitae

What made you want to look up curriculum vitae? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!