From Latin bivius (“two-way, having two approaches”) (from bi- (“having two parts”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dwóh₁ (“two”)) + via (“road; way”) (possibly ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *weyh₁- (“to chase, pursue”)) + -us (“suffix forming adjectives”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *-ós (“suffix forming agent nouns from verb stems”))) + -ous.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈbɪ.vɪ.əs/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈbi.vi.əs/
- Hyphenation: bi‧vi‧ous
- (rare) Having, or leading, two ways.
- 1647, Theodore de la Guard [pseudonym; Nathaniel Ward], The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America. […], London: Printed by J[ohn] D[ever] & R[obert] I[bbitson] for Stephen Bowtell, […], OCLC 560031272; The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America (Force’s Collection of Historical Tracts; vol. III, no. 8), 5th edition, reprinted at Boston in N. England: For Daniel Henchman, […]; [Washington, D.C.: W. Q. Force], 1713 (1844 printing), OCLC 800593321, page 28:
- If Publick Assemblies of Divines cannot agree upon a right way, private Conventicles of illiterate men, will soon find a wrong. Bivious demurs breed devious resolutions. Passengers to Heaven are in haste, and will walk one way or another.
- 1647, G[eorge] T[ooke], “[Annæ-Dictata, or, A Miscelaine of Some Different Cansonets, […]] Funerall Teares”, in The Belides […], London: [s.n.], OCLC 504272642, page 112:
- Even ſtrange to tell, / I now ſo clung an Individium was, / So fix at home, and yet ſo bivious / At the ſame time, and far abroad; […]
- 1649, Fra[ncis] Quarles, The Virgin Widow: A Comedie, London: Printed for R[ichard] Royston, […], OCLC 946074010, pages 41–43; quoted in George Villiers, Edward Arber, editor, The Rehearsal. […] (English Reprints; 10), London: Alex. Murray & Son, […], 2 November 1868, OCLC 313196891, Act III, scene i, page 88:
- Pulchrellas breaſt encloſes / A ſoft Affection wrapt in Beds of Roſes. / But in the rare Pantheas noble lines, / Truth Worth and Honour, with Affection joynes. / I ſtand even-balanc'd, doubtfully oppreſt, / Beneathe the burthen of a bivious breaſt.
- 1716, Thomas Browne, “Part the Third”, in Christian Morals, Cambridge: Printed at the University-Press, for Cornelius Crownfield; and are to be sold by Mr. Knapton; and Mr. [John] Morphew, OCLC 220054853; reprinted in Simon Wilkin, editor, Sir Thomas Browne’s Work including His Life and Correspondence, volume IV, London: William Pickering; Norwich, Norfolk: Josiah Fletcher, 1835, OCLC 759604716, section III, page 94:
- In bivious theorems, and Janus-faced doctrines, let Virtuous considerations state the determination. Look upon opinions as thou dost upon the moon, and choose not the dark hemisphere for thy contemplation.
- 1718, [John Aubrey], “Reygate Hundred. Reygate, or Rhie-gate.”, in The Natural History and Antiquities of the County of Surrey, volume IV, London: Printed for E[dmund] Curll, OCLC 745245424, page 189:
- The Caſtle of this Place was built in the Saxon Times, […]: In the Area of it is an Entrance into a large Cave, or Vault, that runs under Ground ſeveral Perches, to a ſmall Portal or Door that opens into the Graſſe without the Caſtle. This Vault is bivious, and cut out of the Sand, ſeveral Paces broad, and 5 Yard high, at the End which opens into the Graſſe, or dry Ditch.
- 2016, Jan Assmann, “Inscriptional Violence and the Art of Cursing: A Study of Performative Writing”, in Ernst van den Hemel and Asja Szafraniec, editors, Words: Religious Language Matters (The Future of the Religious Past), New York, N.Y.: Fordham University Press, →ISBN, part I (What are Words?), page 58:
- […] Deuteronomy places the reader in a dilemma, a "bivious" position. He must choose between two ways that the text opens before him: "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (30:19). A treaty is a text that structures reality in a bivious form.