qui vive

noun
\kē-ˈvēv \

Definition of qui vive 

: alert, lookout used in the phrase on the qui vive

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Did You Know?

When a sentinel guarding a French castle in days of yore cried, Qui vive? your life depended upon your answer - the right one was usually something like "Long live the king!" The question the sentinel was asking was "Long live who?" but the act of calling out apparently impressed English listeners more than the meaning of the phrase, because when they adopted it in the early 1700s they used qui vive to mean "alert." Nowadays, the term is most often used in the phrase on the qui vive, meaning "on the lookout."

Examples of qui vive in a Sentence

an army on the qui vive for enemy attack

First Known Use of qui vive

1726, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for qui vive

French qui-vive, from qui vive? long live who?, challenge of a French sentry

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Dictionary Entries near qui vive

quiverness

quiver tree

quivery

qui vive

quixote

quixotic

quixotize

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The first known use of qui vive was in 1726

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