Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sentinel's challenge.
  • idiom on the qui vive On the alert; vigilant: "a loathsome Dublin politico who is on the qui vive for . . . terrorists” ( Julian Moynahan).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a state of heightened vigilance, especially prior to battle

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The challenge of a French sentinel, or patrol; -- used like the English challenge: “Who comes there?”

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Who goes there? — the challenge of French sentries addressed to those who approach their posts.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. condition of heightened watchfulness or preparation for action

Etymologies

French, (long) live who? (a sentry's challenge to determine a person's political sympathies) : qui, who + vive, third person sing. present subjunctive of vivre, to live.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French who lives? - a sentry's challenge (Wiktionary)

Examples

Sorry, no example sentences found.

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  • JM, though not in way a sentinel, still frequently finds himself demanding "qui vive?"

    February 1, 2009