ver·​sus | \ ˈvər-səs , -səz \

Definition of versus

1 : against
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

Windows 10’s market share for desktop and notebook PCs combined hit 39.22 percent, versus 36.90 percent for Windows 7. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Windows 10 finally tops Windows 7 in user share," 2 Jan. 2019 Kavanaugh’s claims of innocence versus 46 percent who believed Christine Blasey Ford. Zoey Grossman; Fashion Editor: Cassie Anderson, Harper's BAZAAR, "Uzo Aduba, Katie Holmes & Ieshia Evans Reenact Iconic Images of Social Change," 20 Nov. 2018 The Democratic nominee in one of the country’s hottest Senate contests, Nevada’s Jacky Rosen, beat Republican incumbent Dean Heller with the support of 60 percent of women voters—versus just 42 percent of men. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "This Is How Women Voted in the Midterms—and What It Means for Election 2020," 12 Nov. 2018 Asked which party would better address Americans with pre-existing conditions, 58 percent said Democrats versus 34 percent who said Republicans. James Freeman, WSJ, "Trump, Kavanaugh and McCain Drive Election Results," 7 Nov. 2018 The poll found 55 percent of women do not believe the Senate should confirm him, versus just 40 percent of men. Catherine Lucey, The Seattle Times, "Trump says ‘scary time’ for young men facing false charges," 2 Oct. 2018 In the third quarter, the negative-to-positive ratio was 1.4, and eventual earnings growth ended up at 28.4%, versus the 21.6% analysts expected at quarter end. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Earnings: First, the Good News," 16 Jan. 2019 So, in both research and in my clinical experience: No, drinking meals versus eating them does not lead to weight loss. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Celery Juice "Benefits" Are Total B.S., According to Nutrition Science," 16 Jan. 2019 Technically a feud that began in 2017, the Jane Fonda versus Megyn Kelly debacle continued into 2018, and not only because Kelly ill-advisedly waded back into the kerfuffle. Bridget Read, Vogue, "This Was the Year of Celebrity Feuds," 26 Dec. 2018

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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Learn More about versus

Dictionary Entries near versus





versus caudati



Statistics for versus

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for versus

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

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More Definitions for versus



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 \

Kids Definition of versus

: against sense 1 our football team versus theirs

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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

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marked by fawning attentiveness

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