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Vis-à-vis | face to face



adverb archaic

in a position facing a specified or implied subject: he was there vis-à-vis with Miss Arundel.

noun (plural same)

1 a person or group occupying a corresponding position to that of another person or group in a different area or domain; a counterpart: his admiration for the US armed services extends to their vis- à-vis, the Russian military.

2 a face-to-face meeting: the dreaded vis-à- vis with his boss.


The expression vis-à-vis literally means

‘face to face.’ Avoid using it to mean ‘about, concerning, as in he wanted to talk to me vis-à-vis next weekend. In the sense ‘in contrast, comparison, or relation to,’ however, vis-à-vis is generally acceptable: let us consider government regulations vis-à- vis employment rates.


mid 18th century: French, literally ‘face to face’, from Old French vis ‘face’.

As a preposition, vis-à-vis is used to compare things. So, if you want to compare the food you’ve eaten today with the calories you burned working out, you might talk about your caloric intake vis-à-vis caloric expenditure. You can also use it to say that you’re facing something or are opposite something.