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Vis-à-vis is a loanword from French, where it means face to face (derived from the French visage, meaning face). In English, it’s most commonly a preposition meaning in relation to or compared with, and it’s sometimes used to mean simply face to face.

The French grave accent over the is optional in English, but it appears more often than not in edited writing.


“That Old Gang Of Mine” continues in that vein, and it ties up some loose ends vis-à-vis [involving?] Gunn and his old demon-hunting crew. [A.V. Club]

The progressive caucus can’t possibly be so stupidly loyal as to saddle the party with her toxic numbers for the next House election in 2012 too—especially given their endless crowing vis-à-vis [about?] Palin and centrists. [Hot Air]

Nancy Pelosi claimed that the report’s suggestions vis-a-vis [regarding?] entitlement reform were “simply unacceptable”. [Guardian]