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

n a person or thing having the same function or characteristics as another

counterpart, opposite number
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

n small sofa that seats two people

love seat, loveseat, tete-a-tete
Type of:
couch, lounge, sofa
an upholstered seat for more than one person

adv 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”

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