Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An abbreviation of viscount. Also written Visc., Visct.
  • noun An old spelling of vise.
  • noun Vision; sight; appearance.
  • noun in law, an irresistible natural force, exempting one, barring special contract or fraud, from contract obligation. In both the civil and the common law the term has nearly the meaning of “act of God.”
  • noun Force.
  • noun Hence— Moral indisposition to commit one's self to an energetic line of action; mental sluggishness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Abbreviation of viscount.
  • noun Force; power.
  • noun Alternative spelling of viss.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin vis, from Proto-Indo-European *weyǝ- (“power”).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Tamil வீசை (vīcai) and/or Telugu వీసె (vīse)

Examples

  • Some physicians imagined that diseases were caused by a change in the qualities of the fluids, which became sometimes acid, and sometimes alkaline; or on a change of figure of the particles of the blood: some imagined diseases to be owing to a rational principle, which they called the vis medicatrix naturae, which governed the actions of the body, and excited fever or commotion in the system to remove any hurtful cause, or expel any morbid matter, which might have insinuated itself into the body.

    Popular Lectures on Zoonomia Or The Laws of Animal Life, in Health and Disease

  • I feel your pain vis a vis engorgement – only I never have problems getting milk OUT.

    They Shoot Wet Nurses, Don’t They? | Her Bad Mother

  • It is always worth keeping a weather eye on the blog of that most haughty of Frenchmen, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who seems, a bit like the Communist Party of Great Britain vis-à-vis the Labour Party of the 1970s, to be able to propose something today for it to become mainstream policy tomorrow.

    Archive 2008-02-10

  • It is always worth keeping a weather eye on the blog of that most haughty of Frenchmen, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who seems, a bit like the Communist Party of Great Britain vis-à-vis the Labour Party of the 1970s, to be able to propose something today for it to become mainstream policy tomorrow.

    The Oracle Speaks

  • Peterson was a far healthier human being, of course, but I think that the whole narrative of extreme virtuosity as a Faustian bargain vis-à-vis the soul is a pretty indelible trope in all kinds of music.

    Come Fly With Me

  • When Leibniz published essentially the same objection in his Brief Demonstration of a Notable Error of Descartes's and Others Concerning a Natural Law in 1686, it sparked a now famous dispute among natural philosophers that has become known as the vis viva controversy

    Leibniz's Philosophy of Physics

  • We are seeing precisely that drama playing out this very term vis-a-vis Grutter and Stenberg.

    "John Roberts, Centrist."

  • Q Any more presidential phone calls vis a vis Iraq?

    Press Briefing By Mike Mccurry

  • Nearly all this doctrine of impetus is transformed into a very correct mechanical theory if one is careful to substitute the expression vis viva for impetus.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • Terence imitated him at Rome, and obtained the preference over Plautus, though Cæsar called him but a demi-Menander, because he appears to want that spirit and vivacity which he calls the vis comica.

    The Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 05 Miscellaneous Pieces

Comments

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  • For WeirdNet's next trick: watch him make a plural from a Roman numeral!

    August 13, 2008

  • Five and one and the Roman numeral 's', meaning the square of zero.

    August 13, 2008

  • (noun) - (1) If the stay of the guest exceeds a week, it should be called "a visitation." If it includes a dining, or a tea-drinking, or evening-spending, it may be termed "a visit," while a mere call can be mentioned as "a vis."

    --Eliza Leslie's Behaviour Book, 1859

    (2) If you cannot make me a visit, at least make me a vis, if you can.

    --Charles Southey's Life of the Rev. Andrew Bell, 1844

    January 17, 2018