ver·​sus | \ ˈvər-səs How to pronounce versus (audio) , -səz How to pronounce versus (audio) \

Definition of versus

2 : in contrast to or as the alternative of free trade versus protection

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Abbreviating Versus

In a number of areas the English language is possessed of an embarrassment of riches, with multiple synonyms or abbreviations for a word. One such case is versus, which is often written in a shortened form. You may choose between vs, vs., and v. Take care, when writing the word out in full, that you distinguish between versus (a preposition meaning “against”) and verses (“lines of metrical writing”).

Examples of versus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Please insert your chess versus checkers jokes here. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "Colin Kaepernick Holds His Own Workout," 18 Nov. 2019 Young people ages 18-34 unsurprisingly made up the largest chunk of digital-first listeners at 43%, compared to versus 34% of listeners ages 35-54 and just 23% ages 55 and older. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Americans Are Listening to Music Less and Spoken Word Audio More, Study Finds," 14 Nov. 2019 Cincinnati incorporated more 12 personnel in London versus the Los Angeles Rams and saw some positive gains in the run game, resulting in the club’s second-best rushing output (104 yards) of the year. Tyler Dragon,, "Cincinnati Bengals 'frustrated' over inability to run the football," 4 Nov. 2019 The battle of fourth versus fifth takes place in Spain on Saturday evening with both sides within touching distance of Barcelona at the top., "This Weekend's 6 Must-Watch Games From Around the Continent," 1 Nov. 2019 Sacramento’s three wins versus Phoenix last year were by nine or more points so this spread is a small obstacle to hurdle. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Sacramento Kings at Phoenix Suns odds, lines, picks and betting tips," 23 Oct. 2019 On Friday, host Washington earned a 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 conference home win versus Arizona State. Charles Rich, Burbank Leader, "College Update: Grote, Bell helping respective teams pile up victories on court, field," 22 Oct. 2019 But telling in advance which stock-pickers will deliver sufficient outperformance to justify their fees versus a cheap index tracker seems like unattainable knowledge. Washington Post, "Sometimes Investors Should Just Run for the Hills," 17 Oct. 2019 One area where the Chargers struggled defensively versus Denver was stopping the run. Jeff Miller, Los Angeles Times, "Chargers’ Philip Rivers had one of the worst games of his career against the Broncos," 7 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of versus

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for versus

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, towards, against, from Latin, adverb, so as to face, from past participle of vertere to turn

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Time Traveler for versus

Time Traveler

The first known use of versus was in the 15th century

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Statistics for versus

Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Versus.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for versus

How to pronounce versus (audio) How to pronounce versus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of versus

used to indicate the two people, teams, etc., that are fighting or competing against each other or that are opposed to each other in a legal case abbr. vs., v.
used to indicate two different things, choices, etc., that are being compared or considered
ver·​sus | \ ˈvər-səs How to pronounce versus (audio) \

Kids Definition of versus

: against sense 1 our football team versus theirs

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More from Merriam-Webster on versus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for versus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with versus

Spanish Central: Translation of versus

Nglish: Translation of versus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of versus for Arabic Speakers

Comments on versus

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


a period of high artistic development

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