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viva voce

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adverb vi·va vo·ce \ˌvī-və-ˈvō-(ˌ)sē or ˌvē-və-ˈvō-(ˌ)chā\

Definition of viva voce

  1. :  by word of mouth :  orally

viva voce was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2012. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

Viva voce derives from Medieval Latin, where it translates literally as "with the living voice." In English it occurs in contexts, such as voting, in which something is done aloud for all to hear. Votes in Congress, for example, are done viva voce - members announce their votes by calling out "yea" or "nay." While the phrase was first used in English as an adverb in the 16th century, it can also appear as an adjective (as in "a viva voce examination") or a noun (where it refers to an examination conducted orally).

Origin and Etymology of viva voce

Medieval Latin, with the living voice


First Known Use: 1563


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viva voce

adjective vi·va vo·ce

Definition of viva voce

  1. :  expressed or conducted by word of mouth

Examples of viva voce in a sentence

  1. the students are required to write two papers and take a viva voce examination

1654

First Known Use of viva voce

1654


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viva voce

noun vi·va vo·ce

Definition of viva voce

  1. :  an examination conducted viva voce —called also viva

1842

First Known Use of viva voce

1842


VIVA VOCE Defined for English Language Learners


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viva voce

adjective vi·va vo·ce

Definition of viva voce for English Language Learners

  • : spoken rather than written


3

viva voce

noun vi·va vo·ce

Definition of viva voce for English Language Learners

  • : an oral examination given at a British university


Law Dictionary

viva voce

adverb or adjective vi·va vo·ce \ˌvī-və-ˈvō-sē, ˌvē-və-ˈvō-ˌchā\

Legal Definition of viva voce

  1. :  through speech :  by word of mouth testify viva voce

Origin and Etymology of viva voce

Medieval Latin, literally, by living voice


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to criticize severely

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