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qui vive

[kee veev] /ki ˈviv/
who goes there? (used as a sentry's challenge)
on the qui vive, on the alert; watchful:
Special guards were on the qui vive for trespassers.
Origin of qui vive
1720-30; < French: literally, (long) live who? (i.e., on whose side are you?) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for on the qui vive

qui vive

/ˌkiː ˈviːv/
on the qui vive, on the alert; attentive
Word Origin
C18: from French, literally: long live who?, sentry's challenge (equivalent to "To whose party do you belong?" or "Whose side do you support?")
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for on the qui vive

qui vive

1726, in on the qui vive "on the alert," from French qui voulez-vous qui vive? sentinel's challenge, "whom do you wish to live," literally "(long) live who?" In other words, "whose side are you on?" (The answer might be Vive la France, Vive le roi, etc.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with on the qui vive

on the qui vive

live who?” originated as a sentinel's challenge to determine a person's political sympathies. The answer expected of allies was something like vive le roi (“long live the king”). It was taken over into English with its revised meaning in the early 1700s, the first recorded use being in 1726.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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