modus vivendi


mo·​dus vi·​ven·​di ˌmō-dəs-vi-ˈven-dē How to pronounce modus vivendi (audio)
plural modi vivendi ˈmō-ˌdē- How to pronounce modus vivendi (audio)
: a feasible arrangement or practical compromise
especially : one that bypasses difficulties
: a manner of living : a way of life

Examples of modus vivendi in a Sentence

The two nations developed a modus vivendi in order to avoid war.
Recent Examples on the Web At least for tactical reasons, Xi seems to be searching for a modus vivendi with America. Fareed Zakaria, Foreign Affairs, 12 Dec. 2023 Sudan’s transition to democracy would have always faced an uphill battle given its troubled domestic politics—namely, Bashir’s autocratic legacy and the difficulty of finding a modus vivendi among the remaining political actors. Comfort Ero, Foreign Affairs, 26 May 2023 Many of the enthusiastic exponents of the clash thesis also have clearly not read Huntington's work, which warns against neoconservative enthusiasms and suggests the necessity of a practical modus vivendi in a multipolar world riven with fissures of values. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 6 Sep. 2010 That black chapter was drawn to a close by a modus vivendi that critics say systematized government corruption, culminating in a financial meltdown that has brought Lebanon, once again, to the brink. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, 20 Mar. 2021 By the summer of 1968, when the Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago, the Cold War modus vivendi had largely been shredded. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 30 Jan. 2023 Something happened, and the agriculturalists shifted the modus vivendi, and the hunter-gatherers gave way. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Oct. 2010 The youth’s challenge is to figure out a modus vivendi with the tiger that does not involve Pi becoming a menu item. Don Aucoin,, 15 Dec. 2022 Despite the desperation, deprivation and decreasing opportunities, some Kabulis have tried to preserve some vestige of their pre-Islamic Emirate existence and forge some kind of modus vivendi with the Taliban. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 29 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'modus vivendi.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, manner of living

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of modus vivendi was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near modus vivendi

Cite this Entry

“Modus vivendi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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