Vis-a-vis is a fancy way of saying "in regard to" or "compared to," as in: "He was substantially underpaid vis-a-vis other researchers."

Technically that "a" in vis-a-vis is an "à" as the phrase translates literally from the French for "face to face." There's a slightly pedantic ring to the term vis-a-vis so use it with caution. It's more a term that might be used in a newspaper article or academic treatise, and something best avoided in speech altogether, unless you're deliberately aiming for comic effect.

Definitions of vis-a-vis
  1. noun
    a person or thing having the same function or characteristics as another
    synonyms: counterpart, opposite number
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    something that resembles or harmonizes with
    a bad or unsuitable match
    either of two parts that mutually complete each other
    type of:
    a person or thing equal to another in value or measure or force or effect or significance etc
  2. noun
    small sofa that seats two people
    synonyms: love seat, loveseat, tete-a-tete
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    type of:
    couch, lounge, sofa
    an upholstered seat for more than one person
  3. adverb
    face-to-face with; literally `face to face'
    “they sat vis-a-vis at the table”
    “I found myself vis-a-vis a burly policeman”
Word Family
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