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viva1

[vee-vuh; Italian vee-vah; Spanish bee-vah]
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interjection
  1. Italian, Spanish. (an exclamation of acclaim or approval): Viva Zapata!
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noun
  1. a shout of “viva.”
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Origin of viva1

1665–75; literally: may (he) live! 3rd person singular present subjunctive of Italian vivere, Spanish vivirLatin vīvere to live; see vital

viva2

[vahy-vuh]
noun
  1. (in British and European universities) an oral examination; viva voce.
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Origin of viva2

First recorded in 1890–95; shortened form
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for viva

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • In your childhood I cried 'viva' many times before your coach.

    Romance

    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • He does not feel like saying "Viva" to or of the girl who has so misjudged his boy.

    A War-Time Wooing

    Charles King

  • "I do not admit that, Viva," is the grave, almost stern reply.

    A War-Time Wooing

    Charles King

  • But Viva Winthrop has fallen back on the sofa, covering her face with her hands.

    A War-Time Wooing

    Charles King

  • We were sweethearts so long, Viva; but have you learned to care for some other?

    A War-Time Wooing

    Charles King


British Dictionary definitions for viva

viva1

interjection
  1. long live; up with (a specified person or thing)
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Word Origin

C17: from Italian, literally: may (he) live! from vivere to live, from Latin vīvere

viva2

noun
  1. an oral examination
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verb -vas, -vaing or -vaed (tr)
  1. to examine orally
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Word Origin

shortened from viva voce
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

Word Origin and History for viva

1640s, from Italian viva "(long) live, may he (or she) live," third person singular present subjunctive of vivere "to live," from Latin vivere "to live." Probably reborrowed (1836) from Spanish viva, from vivir "to live," from Latin vivere (see vital). Sometimes also in Latin form vivat (1660s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper