c'est la vie

[ se la vee ]
/ sɛ la ˈvi /

French.

that's life; such is life.

VIDEO FOR C'EST LA VIE

WATCH NOW: How Do You Use "C'est La Vie" In A Sentence?

In French, "c'est la vie" means "that's life." And, we English speakers borrowed it into English in the 1880s as an idiom to express acceptance or resignation, much like "oh well." But, how do you use it in a sentence?

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for c'est la vie

c'est la vie
/ French (sɛ la vi) /

that's life
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

Cultural definitions for c'est la vie

C'est la vie
[ (say lah vee) ]

An expression used to play down some minor disappointment: “So we lost a softball game by twenty-two runs. What can you do; c'est la vie.” From French, meaning “that's life.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.