From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: viz, vız, víz, viž, and vīž


Alternative forms[edit]


From Medieval Latin viꝫ, from Latin vidēlicet (that is to say, namely), short for vidēre licet (it is permitted to see). The ‘z’ was originally not a letter but a common Middle Latin scribal abbreviation that was used for -et, specifically a Tironian note. The symbol resembled ‘z’, or rather 3 and Ȝ, and hence is thus represented in type. Compare , the Tironian symbol for Latin et (and) (in isolation, not as suffix).


Conventionally read out as namely, to wit, or occasionally videlicet. Otherwise pronounced as follows:

  • IPA(key): /vɪz/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪz


viz. (not comparable)

  1. Videlicet: namely, to wit, that is to say, specifically, as an illustration.
    Synonyms: namely; see also Thesaurus:specifically
    • 1821 September–October, [Thomas De Quincey], “[Part II.] Introduction to the Pains of Opium.”, in Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, 2nd edition, London: [] [J. Moyes] for Taylor and Hessey, [], published 1823, →OCLC, page 119:
      I am at this period, viz. in 1812, living in a cottage; []
    • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC:
      The fact is, when Captain Dobbin blushed so, and looked so, it was necessary to inform the young ladies, viz., that he had been calling at Mr. Sedley's house already, []
    • 1993, Hans Kamp, Uwe Reyle, From Discourse to Logic: Introduction to Modeltheoretic Semantics of Natural Language, Formal Logic and Discourse Representation Theory[1], page 51:
      This, however, makes it necessary to distinguish between two different types of gaps, viz. between “singular NP gaps” and “plural NP gaps.”
    • 2012, Matti Sintonen, Realism in Action: Essays in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences[2]:
      As to (b), the joint intention, like any intention, commits the intending agents to carry out its content, viz. to act.

Usage notes[edit]

viz. is used to introduce a list or series. It differs from i.e. in that what follows normally expands upon what has already been said, rather than merely restating it in other words; and from e.g. in that completeness or near-completeness is suggested, rather than a small selection of examples.


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]