vis-à-vis

1 of 3

preposition

1
: in relation to
2
: as compared with
3
: face-to-face with

vis-à-vis

2 of 3

noun

plural vis-à-vis ˈvēz-ə-ˈvē(z) How to pronounce vis-à-vis (audio)
ˈvēs-,
-ä-
1
: one that is face-to-face with another
2
3

vis-à-vis

3 of 3

adverb

: 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
Preposition
So minorities, religious minorities, are not in any way at a disadvantage vis-a-vis their Indianness, relative to the majority community, which happens to be Hindus. Foreign Affairs, 26 Aug. 2014 President Joe Biden's unwillingness to have a public discussion about U.S.-Israel policy vis-a-vis the Palestinian death toll in Gaza is fueling consternation among young voters, the 27-year-old Democratic organizer warned. USA TODAY, 19 Apr. 2024 Discovery’s approach with HBO vis-a-vis Max: Following the launch of what had been HBO Max, the company killed off its standalone HBO Now and HBO Go apps and then rebranded the flagship service as just Max in 2023 with the addition of programming from WBD’s Discovery side of the house. Todd Spangler, Variety, 11 Apr. 2024 What did this say about the royals and their control of social media vis-a-vis tabloid news, one New York Times columnist asked, while another saw a double standard between the treatment of Middleton and her sister-in-law, Meghan Markle. Kevin Dolak, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for vis-à-vis 

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

Etymology

Preposition

French, literally, face-to-face

First Known Use

Preposition

1755, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Noun

circa 1757, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vis-%C3%A0-vis. Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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