vive la différence

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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from French, literally “long live the difference”, from vive (long live) + la (the) + différence (difference, diversity). Although correct and unremarkable French, it is not a stock phrase in French as it is in English.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌvivə lɑ ˌdɪfəˈɹɑns/
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌviːv lɑː ˌdɪfəˈɹɒns/
  • (file)


vive la différence

  1. (often humorous) Used to express appreciation of diversity, especially between the sexes; sometimes referring to cultural diversity, and more rarely to diversity of opinion, as in "let's agree to disagree".
    • 2001 November 1, Sandra Díaz; Marcelo Cabido, “Vive la différence: plant functional diversity matters to ecosystem processes”, in Trends in Ecology & Evolution[1], volume 16, number 11, pages 646–655:

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used as a humorous exclamation (e.g., by a man appreciating an attractive woman).
  • The term la différence is sometimes abstracted from this saying to refer to the difference between the sexes, or to heterosexual sexual interest implied to result from this.