qui vive

[ kee veev ]
/ ki ˈviv /

who goes there? (used as a sentry's challenge)

Nearby words

  1. quezon city,
  2. quezon y molina,
  3. qui nhon,
  4. qui nhong,
  5. qui transtulit sustinet,
  6. quib,
  7. quibble,
  8. quibbling,
  9. quibblingly,
  10. quibdó


    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?)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for qui vive

British Dictionary definitions for qui vive

qui vive

/ (ˌkiː ˈviːv) /


on the qui vive on the alert; attentive

Word Origin for qui vive

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

Word Origin and History for 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