ver·​sus | \ˈvər-səs, -səz \

Definition of versus 

1 : against

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Table games took a dip, at $8.61 million versus $9.1 million, while slots were up, at $23.4 million compared to $23.23 million, the report. said. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Casino revenues steady in Northwest Indiana," 13 July 2018 Divided by class and upbringing, yet remarkably similar in their tastes and proclivities, the brothers were like a case study in heredity versus environment. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Triplets ripped from family in a Nazi-like experiment, probed in Three Identical Strangers," 5 July 2018 The action begins at 10 a.m. Thursday with Russia versus Saudi Arabia. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do this weekend in Chicago," 14 June 2018 Average hourly earnings for workers on new single-family homes were up 9% in June from a year ago, versus a 2.7% gain for U.S. workers overall. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Big Builders Are Remodeling the Housing Market," 13 July 2018 That won’t end well, not for Pacquiao, not against any of the top welterweights, not versus Errol Spence Jr. or Keith Thurman or even Danny Garcia. Greg Bishop,, "In Search of a Happy Ending to Boxing Career, Manny Pacquiao Is Following a Familiar, Sad Trajectory Instead," 12 July 2018 In 18 minutes versus Golden State, Edwards had three points on 1-for-5 shooting, 1-for-4 from 3, and three rebounds. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Purdue rookies Isaac Haas, Vincent Edwards, Dakota Mathias attempt to find footing at NBA summer league," 9 July 2018 The series continues today with the Week 4 game versus Mississippi State. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Here's how Kentucky football can win (or lose) against Miss. State," 5 July 2018 And the median household income is $89,000 a year in Chester, versus $47,000 a year in Schuylkill. NBC News, "Meet the Press -May 20, 2018," 20 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about versus

Dictionary Entries near versus





versus caudati



Statistics for versus

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for versus

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!