- against (used especially to indicate an action brought by one party against another in a court of law, or to denote competing teams or players in a sports contest): Smith versus Jones; Army versus Navy.
- as compared to or as one of two choices; in contrast with: traveling by plane versus traveling by train. Abbreviation: v., vs.
- (esp in a competition or lawsuit) against; in opposition toAbbreviation: v, (esp US) vs
- as opposed to; in contrast with
mid-15c., in legal case names, denoting action of one party against another, from Latin versus “turned toward or against,” from past participle of vertere (frequentative versare) “to turn,” from PIE *wert- “to turn, wind,” from root *wer- (3) “to turn, bend” (cf. Old English -weard “toward,” originally “turned toward,” weorthan “to befall,” wyrd “fate, destiny,” literally “what befalls one;” Sanskrit vartate “turns round, rolls;” Avestan varet- “to turn;” Old Church Slavonic vruteti “to turn, roll,” Russian vreteno “spindle, distaff;” Lithuanian verciu “to turn;” Greek rhatane “stirrer, ladle;” German werden, Old English weorðan “to become” (for sense, cf. turn into); Welsh gwerthyd “spindle, distaff;” Old Irish frith “against”).