What Does Vice Versa Mean? | Definition & Examples

Vice versa is an adverb meaning ‘the other way around’.

It’s used to indicate that a statement is also true if the order is reversed. For example, in the sentence ‘we should be respectful of our neighbors, and vice versa’, it suggests that the statement is also true the other way around (i.e., ‘our neighbors should be respectful of us’).

Examples: ‘Vice versa’ in a sentence
Sam hates her boss, and vice versa.

When I’m sad I eat too much, and vice versa.

We can go to the cinema and then for dinner, or vice versa.

All cats are animals, but not vice versa.

Vice versa is a term of Latin origin (like ‘ad nauseam‘ and ‘et al.‘), but it has been used in the English language for hundreds of years, so it doesn’t need to be italicised. It also should not be hyphenated (‘vice-versa’), and the spelling ‘vice a versa’ is incorrect.

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Vice versa or visa versa

Because the term can be pronounced ‘vice-uh-vur-suh’, people sometimes mistakenly spell it ‘visa versa’. However, vice versa is the only correct spelling.

Examples: Vice versa vs. visa versa 
  • The students learned a lot from the teacher, and visa versa.
  • The students learned a lot from the teacher, and vice versa.

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If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

Frequently asked questions

What is a synonym of ‘vice versa’?

Some synonyms of vice versa include:

  • Contrarily
  • Contrariwise
  • Conversely
  • Inversely
  • The other way around
How do I pronounce ‘vice versa’?

There are two ways to pronounce vice versa:

  • As three syllables, with emphasis placed on the first and second syllables: [vicevur-suh]. This is the most common pronunciation.
  • As four syllables, with emphasis placed on the first and third syllables: [vice-uh-vur-suh].

Both pronunciations are considered acceptable, but ‘vice versa’ is the only correct spelling.

Is it ‘vice versa’ or ‘vice a versa’?

Vice versa is the only correct spelling (not ‘vice a versa’ or ‘vice-versa’), but the phrase can be pronounced both ways: [vicevur-suh] or [vice-uh-vur-suh].

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Ryan, E. (2023, October 03). What Does Vice Versa Mean? | Definition & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 17 July 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/definition/vice-versa-meaning/

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Eoghan Ryan

Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.