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

While the kiosk plan may get approved on Tuesday, Castaneda noted that commissioners haven’t decided to definitely allow ads, or what percentage of the video content would be ads versus public service messages. David Garrick,, "Public outcry prompts port to shelve looser policy for building wrap ads," 13 July 2018 As someone who has spent her fair share of time comparing felt versus pencil tip products in the aisles of Sephora, these sure do look a lot like eyeliner swatches to me. Zoe Weiner, Allure, "Kim Kardashian Teased a Possible KKW Beauty Eyeliner Launch on Instagram," 12 July 2018 This installment opens with a 19th-century flashback showing Dracula besting the vampire hunter Van Helsing: think a caped and fang-bearing Bugs Bunny versus Elmer Fudd. Michael Mccullers, New York Times, "Review: Raising the Stakes With ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’," 12 July 2018 Re Pastore’ Told through a succession of arias, Mozart’s early work is a heart-tugging story about love versus duty. Kathleen Dixon,, "Bay Area arts and entertainment highlights, week of July 15," 11 July 2018 Maybe choose a job with an eye to health benefits and flexibility versus size of the paycheck. Carolyn Hax, The Seattle Times, "Envious of husband’s approaching retirement," 10 July 2018 By Jason Boatright | Jason Boatright | There’s a huge non-con game in Week 2 of the College Football season in Manhattan, versus Mississippi State. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Whit not an All-Star (?), Jeff Long and KU, Chiefs fears, Odom's crossroads," 10 July 2018 Its only two losses last season came in Kelly Bryant’s two low-output games: at Syracuse (12-for-17 for 116 yards) and versus Alabama (18-for-36 for 124 yards). Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Here's how Louisville football could actually beat Clemson in 2018," 10 July 2018 Key travel is about 1mm, versus the 1.5mm or even 1.75mm on competing tablets and notebooks. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's $399, 10-inch Surface Go rethinks the Windows tablet for consumers," 9 July 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

22 Sep 2018

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 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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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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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