Definition of viva voce in English:

viva voce

Pronunciation /ˌvʌɪvə ˈvəʊtʃeɪ//ˈvəʊtʃi/


  • (especially of an examination) oral rather than written.

    ‘a viva voce examination’
    • ‘There were two doctors called at the trial to give viva voce evidence.’
    • ‘I only propose to deal with submissions made by counsel and those observations contained in Mr. Jones' affidavit and in his viva voce evidence that have some arguable merit.’
    • ‘His reports were filed as exhibits and in addition, he gave viva voce testimony.’
    • ‘A trial is dictated by the need for viva voce evidence from witnesses to enable the court to assess conflicting evidence and credibility so as to determine the relevant facts.’
    • ‘No viva voce evidence was called in this application, both counsels maintaining that they were prepared to call witnesses should the court so require or if the court should direct the trial of an issue.’
    • ‘The viva voce evidence was heard in July, 2003 and the presentation of the ‘agreed facts’, argument and ruling took place over two months later.’
    • ‘Only after viva voce testimony tested by cross-examination at trial will a court be able to assess competently the credibility of the parties.’
    • ‘There was no documentation or further evidence to buttress his viva voce evidence.’
    • ‘These entire proceedings did not address the issue of access to the material filed, and viva voce evidence given, before the Board.’
    • ‘His viva voce evidence was that he gives the girls money directly every two weeks of $50 each and recently bought a used car for his sixteen-year-old.’
    • ‘She filed an affidavit in support of this application and also gave viva voce evidence at the hearing on January 27, 2003.’
    • ‘The doctor was not called to give viva voce testimony.’
    • ‘The total viva voce evidence adduced at the trial is set forth in less than ten pages of transcript.’
    • ‘There is no evidence before me to suggest that there is property in Peru owned by either party, which would necessitate viva voce evidence from Peru.’
    • ‘Thus it would appear to me that there should be viva voce evidence before a judge of the witnesses having direct knowledge as to this.’
    • ‘Castle gave viva voce evidence of his qualification and designation.’
    • ‘Such questions are certainly old favourites in viva voce examinations!’
    • ‘She says that viva voce evidence is necessary because credibility is in issue.’
    • ‘At her final viva voce examination, she met all the history questions with a blank face.’
    • ‘Look, I am not conducting a viva voce examination of you, Mr White.’
    • ‘Her decision to hear the motion, but not to permit the calling of viva voce evidence, was appropriate, given the manner and timing of the application.’
    tacit, implicit, unvoiced, silent, implied, taken for granted, accepted, recognized, understood, unrecorded
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  • Orally rather than in writing.

    ‘we had better discuss this viva voce’
    • ‘The 63 chapters of liberties to the ‘freemen of England’ were sealed, and peace was made viva voce with renewed homage.’
    • ‘In all the circumstances, it seems to me that the proper course of action is to reserve the issue of costs on the motion to the trial judge, who can take into account the evidence heard viva voce at trial.’
    • ‘His younger brother was the only witness to testify viva voce at this trial.’
    • ‘No such circumstances exist in this case and any evidence to be offered viva voce by witnesses in respect of the interpretation of clause N is therefore irrelevant.’


  • An oral examination, typically for an academic qualification.

    ‘candidates may be called for a viva voce’
    mass noun ‘assessment of the PhD is by thesis and viva voce’
    • ‘A girlfriend of mine turned Doctor today; she passed her viva voce with flying colours.’
    • ‘I successfully completed my viva voce yesterday defending my project.’
    test, exam, paper, question paper, oral, practical, assessment
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Mid 16th century: from medieval Latin, literally ‘with the living voice’.


viva voce

/ˌvʌɪvə ˈvəʊtʃeɪ//ˈvəʊtʃi/