1 of 3


: in relation to
: as compared with
: face-to-face with


2 of 3


plural vis-à-vis ˈvēz-ə-ˈvē(z) How to pronounce vis-à-vis (audio)
: one that is face-to-face with another


3 of 3


: in company : together

Did you know?

Vis-à-vis comes from Latin by way of French, where it means literally "face-to-face." In English it was first used to refer to a little horse-drawn carriage in which two people sat opposite each other. From there it acquired various other meanings, such as "dancing partner." Today it no longer refers to actual physical faces and bodies, but its modern meaning comes from the fact that things that are face-to-face can easily be compared or contrasted. So, for example, a greyhound is very tall vis-à-vis a Scottie, and one currency may be stronger vis-à-vis another.

Examples of vis-à-vis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
But car safety experts recommend postponing the big turnaround until your child is as close to 4 as possible, when his bones are more formed and his head is more proportionate vis-a-vis the rest of his body. Jennifer Brookland, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2023 That trap was designed to kill everyone vis-a-vis a horde of zombies. Erik Kain, Forbes, 17 July 2023 And the complaint pressing forward the revelations was filed in December; reporting on Jane Roberts’s ethically-questionable career vis-a-vis her husband’s position had been published even back in January. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 28 Apr. 2023 Short-term yields are higher, as much as 5.06% for three-month Treasuries, an unusual situation vis-a-vis longer-maturity bonds that can presage a recession. Maria Gracia Santillana Linares, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vis-à-vis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



French, literally, face-to-face

First Known Use


1755, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1760, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vis-à-vis was in 1755

Dictionary Entries Near vis-à-vis

Cite this Entry

“Vis-à-vis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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