Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.


qui vive

on the qui vive


  • on the alert or lookout.
  • on vigilance
  • on being observant


  1. Their duty requires most of the soldiers to be on the qui vive at the Siachen of Kashmir India battlefield.
  2. What he might do the next do was uncertain. His uncertainty always kept her on the qui vive to avoid any mishap.
  3. The nurses were on the qui vive for the patient who had undergone a trauma attack few hours before and would wake any moment as the effect of sedition had been over.
  4. The guards were on a qui vive outside the precious gems museum as they had received a warning regarding the museum being looted.

Qui vive is a french expression that has come into existence in English since the late 16th century. In literal terms, it means (long) live who? i.e on whose side are you? ‘In former times, such a provocation was issued by a sentry to someone coming towards his post so as to make sure which side their loyalty was’.

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1 Comment

  • Expression: Somdatt writes on 14 March, 2016

    Very good meaning. It’s appreciated.

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