Definition of modus vivendi in English:

modus vivendi

Syllabification: mo·dus vi·ven·di
Pronunciation: /ˈmōdəs vəˈvendē, -ˌdī

noun (plural modi vivendi /ˈmōdē, ˈmōdī/)

[usually in singular]
  • 1An arrangement or agreement allowing conflicting parties to coexist peacefully, either indefinitely or until a final settlement is reached.
    More example sentences
    • The modus vivendi that was reached did not allay the popes' fears of the territorial expansion of the kingdom that might take over Rome itself.
    • But the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have worked out a modus vivendi which allows for the business of government to carry on.
    • Events led to the use of force; but in a sense it was used only to provide the basic conditions for a return to the first alternative, the patient and peaceful development of a modus vivendi.
  • 1.1A way of living.
    More example sentences
    • I've written here before about people who believe that skepticism is not only an obligation - which it is - but a modus vivendi, the only possible option for a Thinking Person.
    • Add to that a healthy dose of optimism, and her modus vivendi starts to jibe with current findings about lifestyle choices and sustained vitality.
    • Your modus vivendi depends on being able to control how people talk about you, much like a politician or pop star.


Latin, literally 'way of living'.

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