See also: viz, víz, viž, and vīž


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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).


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


viz. (not comparable)

  1. Videlicet: namely, to wit, that is to say, specifically, as an illustration.
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair. A novel without a hero.:
      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 and 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 notesEdit

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 alsoEdit