vi·​de·​li·​cet və-ˈde-lə-ˌset How to pronounce videlicet (audio)
vi-ˈdā-li-ˌket How to pronounce videlicet (audio)
: that is to say : namely
abbreviation viz

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."

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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


Dictionary Entries Near videlicet

Cite this Entry

“Videlicet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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