Does “Sans” Mean “Without”? (Helpful Examples)

If you have read Shakespeare or literature by other historical writers, you may have come across the word “sans.” This text explains the meaning of “sans” and shows how and when it can be used in modern English.

Does “Sans” Mean “Without”?

The word “sans” means “without”  or “a lack of something.” However, its use in modern English is mainly reserved for ironic, sarcastic, or nostalgic situations, and it is not a common word in everyday vernacular. “Sans” originates from the Latin word “sine.”

Does Sans Mean Without

The word “sans” originates from the Latin word “sine”, which means “without.” Also, in French, the word for without is still “sans”, which more than likely has contributed to the longevity of the word in English.

The most common sight of the term in modern English is in the font name “sans serif”. However, there are some famous instances of the word being used in the plays of Shakespeare.

When people use “sans” in modern English, they often use it in an ironic, comedic, or nostalgic manner.

Here are some examples of “sans” in a sentence:

  • It feels so good to have a night out sans kids.
  • Leaving the house sans makeup was not an option for her.
  • Sans money, sans job, sans girlfriend equals sans hope.

When to Use “Without”

The Cambridge Dictionary states that “without” means not to have or do something. The word “without” is a direct synonym of “sans”, but in modern English “, without” is far more common and understood.

Therefore, if you want to express an absence or lack of something, it is better to use “without” rather than “sans” unless you are trying to be ironic or amusing.

Furthermore, the word “without” can appear before both verbs and nouns without sounding awkward, whereas “sans” before a verb sounds a little awkward.

Here are some examples of “without” in a sentence:

  • I couldn’t do without my wife because she puts everything in perspective.
  • Going on a hike without water is asking for trouble.
  • Asking what to do without reading the question is a little illogical.

When to Use “Sans”

The word “sans” appears in the Cambridge Dictionary, which states that it means “without.” It is also in the Urban Dictionary, which says that “sans” is a character from the video game “Undertale.”

The word originates from the Latin word for “without”, which is “sine.” Furthermore, in French, “sans” is still the modern-day term for “without.”

When people use “sans” in a sentence in modern English, it is generally because they want to be comedic, nostalgic, or ironic in some way. However, if you were writing an academic or formal text, there are other clearer ways of expressing the same thing, such as “without.”

Here are some examples of “sans” in a sentence:

  • A vacation sans kids sounds like paradise, to be honest.
  • You need to clean your room! Sans complaints or excuses.
  • If Paul doesn’t want to come then, we will just go out sans Paul.

What Language Is “Sans”?

The word “sans” in English originates from the Latin word “sine” and the Old French word “sanz”, which both mean “without.” There is also influence from the Latin word “absentia”, which means “in the absence of.”

In modern-day French, the word for without is “sans”, and in Spanish, it is “sin”, which both contribute to the preservation of “sans” in the English language.

Does “Sans” Mean “With”?

The word “sans” does not mean “with”, as “with” has the opposite meaning of “without.”

The Latin meaning of the word “with” is “cum”, which is still used in certain situations in English, such as on university grades and titles. However, “sans”, meaning without, is used in a more ironic and comedic sense to emphasize the word “without.”