“modus vivendi”

In Latin, it means a “manner of living”, or a “way of life”. In English, however, the expression is not used to mean this. It is used to refer to a compromise, usually temporary, between two parties that are fighting each other. One often hears this expression used by foreign ministers. If someone in the foreign ministry were to say, “If India and Pakistan want to avoid a nuclear holocaust, a modus vivendi must be attained,” what he means is that despite the many differences, the two countries must find a way of coexisting peacefully.

*The two rival gangs managed to achieve a sort of modus vivendi.

 The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, Jan 31, 2005


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s