Definitions

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

  • prep. Against: the plaintiff versus the defendant; Army versus Navy.
  • prep. As the alternative to or in contrast with: "freedom of information versus invasion of privacy” ( Ian Hamilton).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • conj. Used to link two or more opposing or contrasting elements.
  • prep. against, in opposition to.
  • prep. compared with, as opposed to.
  • prep. Bringing a legal action against, as used in the title of a court case in which the first party indicates the plaintiff (or appellant or the like), and the second indicates the defendant (or respondent or the like).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prep. Against; ; -- chiefly used in legal language, and abbreviated to v. or vs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Against: used chiefly in legal phraseology: as, John Doe versus Richard Roe. Abbreviated v., vs.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin, turned, toward, from past participle of vertere, to turn.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin versus ("against, turned"), past participle of vertere ("to turn, change, overthrow, destroy"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But in a case that would come down largely to his word versus hers, prosecutors believed the weaknesses in her history were extremely damaging.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • "When you're looking at a game, what's a word versus what's a sentence versus what's a chapter versus what's a whole book?" he asked rhetorically.

    Ars Technica

  • It is hard to know how the scale is tilting between Corzine's "desire to clear his name versus his lawyer's desire to not have him answer questions" Slotnick says.

    Forbes.com: News

  • That's the only reason I can come up with to explain the magnitude of exaggeration in the title versus the "news" inside.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Lesnar (4-1), a former three-time WWE champion who played for the Minnesota Vikings during the preseason in 2004, has not fought since he successfully defended his title versus Frank Mir (13-4) by TKO (strikes) last July in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Elites TV

  • A Solomonic judgment would be simply to replace the word "versus" with a comma: "purely criminal, state-sponsored."

    'Purely Criminal, State-Sponsored'

  • On May 5, 2007 in Streamwood, Illinois, MsChif was defeated by Amazing Kong for the NWA World Women's Championship in a title versus title match.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • You know, people always point the presidents to sort of look at how they've changed, at the beginning of their term versus end of their term.

    CNN Transcript Dec 1, 2004

  • Job, pain versus discomfort and inconvenience, sebaceous cysts

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • But we have to differentiate between getting exposure to the agriculture theme in the short-term versus the long-term.

    Harvesting Returns

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.