Origin of vis-à-vis

1745–55; < French: face to face; see visage
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for vis-a-vis

facing, date, escort, opposite, versus

Examples from the Web for vis-a-vis

Contemporary Examples of vis-a-vis

Historical Examples of vis-a-vis

  • The lieutenant turned briskly, so, too, did Mr. Winslow and his vis-a-vis.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Just then Seriosha came and requested me to be his vis-a-vis.


    Leo Tolstoy

  • "That speaks volumes for my charms at that time," interrupted his vis-a-vis.

    Jennie Gerhardt

    Theodore Dreiser

  • He struck one and handed it to his vis-a-vis, bowing with his foreign grace.

  • His vis-a-vis, as luck, or ill-luck would have it, was the monocle-man.

    Nothing But the Truth

    Frederic S. Isham

British Dictionary definitions for vis-a-vis



in relation to; regarding
face to face with; opposite

adverb, adjective

face to face; opposite

noun plural vis-à-vis

a person or thing that is situated opposite to another
a person who corresponds to another in office, capacity, etc; counterpart
an upholstered sofa; tête-à-tête
a type of horse-drawn carriage in which the passengers sit opposite one another
a coin having an obverse upon which two portraits appear facing each other

Word Origin for vis-à-vis

C18: French, from vis face
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 vis-a-vis

1753, from French prepositional use of the adj. vis-à-vis "face to face," from Old French vis "face" (see visage).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

vis-a-vis in Culture



Relative to; compared with: “She performed well vis-à-vis the rest of the competitors.”

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.