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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘At her final viva voce examination, she met all the history questions with a blank face.’
    • ‘Such questions are certainly old favourites in viva voce examinations!’
    • ‘She says that viva voce evidence is necessary because credibility is in issue.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The doctor was not called to give viva voce testimony.’
    • ‘Only after viva voce testimony tested by cross-examination at trial will a court be able to assess competently the credibility of the parties.’
    • ‘Look, I am not conducting a viva voce examination of you, Mr White.’
    • ‘His reports were filed as exhibits and in addition, he gave viva voce testimony.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She filed an affidavit in support of this application and also gave viva voce evidence at the hearing on January 27, 2003.’
    • ‘These entire proceedings did not address the issue of access to the material filed, and viva voce evidence given, before the Board.’
    • ‘There was no documentation or further evidence to buttress his viva voce evidence.’
    • ‘Castle gave viva voce evidence of his qualification and designation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The 63 chapters of liberties to the ‘freemen of England’ were sealed, and peace was made viva voce with renewed homage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His younger brother was the only witness to testify viva voce at this trial.’


  • 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’
    • ‘I successfully completed my viva voce yesterday defending my project.’
    • ‘A girlfriend of mine turned Doctor today; she passed her viva voce with flying colours.’
    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/