Vice Versa – Definition, Meaning & Use In A Sentence

01.12.23 Definitions Time to read: 3min

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It is not uncommon for people, especially students, to search for the definitions of various English words and phrases. Yet, sometimes, people use certain words simply because they are popular, without fully comprehending their origins. The purpose of this article is to offer a thorough comprehension of the term “vice versa,” including its correct spelling, as well as its history.

Definition of “vice versa”

“Vice versa” is a Latin phrase that translates to “the other way around” or “in reverse.” It is used to indicate a reversal or interchange of two things or concepts in a statement. So, the literal translation is “with places or things having been turned” or “in place of having been turned.” In modern English, it is used to express the idea of reversing or interchanging elements. “Vice versa” is used in various contexts to indicate that the order or relationship between two things or concepts is reversed from what was previously stated or understood. It is often employed to clarify or emphasize that a statement applies equally to the inverse situation. It is commonly used in both formal and informal writing and speech.

Use of “vice versa” in a sentence

“Vice versa” operates as an adverbial phrase in English, and it is commonly employed to indicate a reversal or interchange of two elements or conditions in a sentence. It typically follows a statement or clause, where it is strategically placed to emphasize the reciprocal nature of the relationship between the aforementioned elements. It is often separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma for clarity and grammatical correctness.

Examples 

  • She likes ice cream, and vice versa, he prefers frozen yogurt.
  • You can enter through the front door, or vice versa, use the back entrance.
  • She likes coffee more than tea, and vice versa for her brother.

How to spell “vice versa” correctly

The phrase “vice versa” is often misspelled as “vice-a-versa”, “visa versa”, or “vise versa”. “Vice versa” is regularly misspelled because of its Latin origin, and the correct spelling may not be immediately obvious to some people. However, the only correct way of spelling the Latin word is “vice versa” and consists of two parts:

  • “Vice” – means “in place of” or “instead of”
  • “Versa” – feminine form of the past participle of the verb “vertere”, meaning “to turn”

Correct spelling

vice versa

 

 

Wrong spelling

vice-a-versa

visa versa

vise versa

Synonyms for “vice versa”

Using synonyms in communication can help you avoid repetition and add variety and nuance to your language. This is especially true for words that have similar meanings to “vice versa”. To help you understand how to use these synonyms, here are four examples.

Synonyms Examples
Conversely She enjoys the warm weather; vice versa, I prefer the cold.
She enjoys the warm weather; conversely, I prefer the cold.
In reverse The order of the elements can be changed, or vice versa, for a different result.
The order of the elements can be changed, or in reverse, for a different result.
On the contrary Success often leads to happiness and vice versa, happiness to success.
Success often leads to happiness and, on the contrary, happiness to success.
The other way around She usually drives, but today it's vice versa, and I'm behind the wheel.
She usually drives, but today it's the other way around, and I'm behind the wheel.

FAQs

“Vice versa” is a Latin phrase that means “the other way around” or “in reverse.” It indicates that the positions of two things or the relationship between them are reversed or the opposite of what was previously mentioned.

Yes, you can use “vice versa” in a sentence to indicate a reversal of positions or a relationship being the opposite of what was previously mentioned.

Example

  • She loves him, and vice versa.

Yes, “vice versa” is used in the USA, just as it is used in many other English-speaking countries.

“Vice versa” is a Latin phrase, not French.

A better way to say “vice versa” in a sentence is to use phrases like “the other way around,” “in reverse,” or “conversely,” depending on the context.

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