qui vive (kē vēv)
A sentry's challenge.
on the qui vive
On the alert; vigilant: "a loathsome Dublin politico who is on the qui vive for ... terrorists" (Julian Moynahan).
[French, (long) live who? (a sentry's challenge to determine a person's political sympathies) : qui, who + vive, third person sing. present subjunctive of vivre, to live.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.