Vive, Viva and Vivat are interjections used in the Romance languages. Vive in French, Viva in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, and Vivat in Latin and Romanian are subjunctive forms of the verb "to live". They literally mean, "live!" (imperative form), and are usually translated to English as "long live". They are often used to salute a person or non-personal entity: "Vive le Québec libre" (from Charles de Gaulle's Vive le Québec libre speech in Montreal), or "Viva il Duce!", the rough equivalent in Fascist Italy of the greeting, "Heil Hitler." Additionally, in monarchical times the king of France would be wished "Vive le Roi!" and the king of Italy "Viva il Re!", both meaning "Long live the King!".
The medieval university Latin anthem De Brevitate Vitae has verses like:
In Spanish, for plural subjects, it becomes vivan. Compare ¡Viva el rey! with ¡Vivan los reyes!.
The Mexican slogan "¡Viva Zapata!" was used to title the 1952 English-language biographical drama film Viva Zapata! by Elia Kazan, about Emiliano Zapata. It later inspired the title of 2005 Italian-language documentary film Viva Zapatero!, by Sabina Guzzanti, referring to José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
In Italy, the nationalist phrase "Viva Vittorio Emanuele Re d'Italia!" ("Long live Victor Emmanuel king of Italy") was hidden from the Austrian enemy by its acronym Viva VERDI!, that passed for a praise of the music of Giuseppe Verdi. In Italian graffiti, viva is often abbreviated as W, a letter otherwise foreign to Italian. The opposite concept abbasso ("Down with") is abbreviated with a reversed W.
The use of these terms has increased in non-Latin nations recently; for example, a common greeting regarding the Anglophone city of Las Vegas is "Viva Las Vegas!" One reason may be that West Germanic languages do not have a good equivalent of the term; the closest may be Hail (English)/Heil (German), which understandably has tainted connotations. Nevertheless, Hail still appears in certain previously frozen expressions and usages, to wit: the song Hail to the Chief.
A similar expression is 'Zindabad' used in Urdu and Hindi, it means roughly "Long live" and is used as a patriotic sentiment glorifying leaders and countries e.g. 'Pakistan Zindabad' or 'Musharaff Zindabad'.