Definition of videlicet
: that is to say : namely —abbreviation viz
videlicet was our Word of the Day on 12/23/2008. Hear the podcast!
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
Did You Know?
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."
Origin and Etymology of videlicet
Middle English, from Latin, from vidēre to see + licet it is permitted, from licēre to be permitted
First Known Use: 15th century
Seen and Heard
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