vi·​de·​li·​cet | \ və-ˈde-lə-ˌset How to pronounce videlicet (audio) , vī-; vi-ˈdā-li-ˌket How to pronounce videlicet (audio) \

Definition of videlicet

: that is to say : namely abbreviation viz

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The abbreviation of "videlicet" is "viz," and people often wonder how the "z" got there. There is no "z" in the word's Latin roots, viderē ("to see") and "licet" ("it is permitted"). As it turns out, the "z" in "viz" originally wasn't a "z" at all. It was a symbol that looked like a "z" and that was used in medieval manuscripts to indicate the contraction of Latin words ending in "-et." When the symbol was carried into English, it was converted into the more familiar "z."

Examples of videlicet in a Sentence

the meaning of the Constitution is determined by one—and only one—body, videlicet, the U.S. Supreme Court

First Known Use of videlicet

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for videlicet

Middle English, from Latin, from vidēre to see + licet it is permitted, from licēre to be permitted

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

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Cite this Entry

“Videlicet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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