List of V Idioms:

All of these idioms have a main word that begins with the letter "v." Don't worry, I've also covered the other letters of the alphabet: click here to go to the main idioms page

Did you remember that an idiom is a group of words whose meaning is different from the individual words if you looked them up separately in the dictionary? Good! Let's look at the most popular v idioms.

V Idioms


in a vacuum:  not connected to other people or events.

  • If you write this report in a vacuum, you’re going to have a very limited view of the situation.


in vain:  without success.

  • I rushed to the airport to catch my flight but arrived in vain.
  • I tried to please my manager by completing my work ahead of schedule but my efforts were in vain — he didn’t care.


vanish into thin air:  to completely disappear.

  • I turned my back for one moment and in that time my dog had vanished into thin air.
  • Whenever I put chocolates in the kitchen they vanish into thin air  within a few minutes.


with a vengeance:  with a lot of energy or force.

  • After my wife found out someone stole money from her wallet, she came out of the kitchen with a vengeance  to ask who took the money.
  • After a terrible performance in the first half, the football team returned to the field in the second half with a vengeance.


on the verge:  close to doing or experiencing something.

  • I was on the verge  of accusing my roommate of stealing my money, when I remembered I’d spent it buying some books.
  • My mom was on the verge  of crying when my dad forgot her birthday.


very last:  the final part of something.

  • We arrived late but were able to see the very last  set of the tennis match.
  • I’m sorry, but that was the very last  of the bread we baked this morning.

very thing:  the exact thing needed.

  • I was skeptical, but the vitamins were the very thing  I needed to get well.
  • His temper is the very thing  that’s preventing him from being successful.


in the vicinity:  an approximate amount, nearly.

  • To purchase the home, you’ll need in the vicinity  of $50,000 cash as a down payment.
  • To drive by car it’ll take in the vicinity  of five hours without traffic.


vicious circle: a set of repeating events and factors that negatively affect the next event.

  • Extreme dieting always causes a vicious circle  where the dieter gains more weight than when they started the diet.


in view of something:  in consideration of something; related to something.

  • In view of my fluency  in three languages, I think the offer should be increased to $65,000.
  • In view of the weather, I think we should postpone the picnic.

on view:  on display were everyone can see something.

  • Did you see the art exhibit? There are many famous impressionist paintings on view.

bird’s-eye view: as seen from above; a broad view of a situation.

  • I recommend that you go up to the top floor so you can get a bird’s-eye view  of the city.
  • I suggest you carefully read the introduction of the report because it gives a bird’s-eye view of the new project.

take a dim view:  to not approve of something; to see something negatively.

  • College admissions normally take a dim view  of students who don’t have many extra-curricular activities on their applications.
  • My mom takes a dim view of my acting aspirations.


by virtue of something:  because of something.

  • She got promoted by virtue of her experience, not because of her great looks.


pay a visit to someone/something (pay someone/something a visit): to go see someone or something.

  • I haven’t heard from my mother in two weeks so I’m going to pay her a visit  and make sure she’s okay.
  • There are very few doctors who will pay patients a visit  to their homes these days.


a lone voice in the wilderness: someone who says something that’s not popular; expressing an unpopular opinion.

  • At the management meeting I suggested we give everyone a small bonus, but my suggestion was a lone voice in the wilderness.


fill a (the) void: to provide or replace something that’s needed.

  • She’s been drinking to try to fill the void  after her husband left her.
  • I’m afraid I’ll never find anyone to fill the void  after my secretary retires.
  • I feel a real void  in my life now that my children have grown up and moved away.


speaks volumes: to express something clearly, to be a clear example of something.

  • The dirty looks and silence between them speaks volumes  about their relationship.


vouch for something: to support the truth of something.

  • Even though you didn’t see her, I can vouch that she arrived on time  yesterday.


vote something down (vote down something):  to reject something or defeat a vote for something.

  • I suggested we hire a new receptionist instead of having an answering service, but management voted the idea down.

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You can also find many idiom definitions with the different online learner's dictionaries.

Your turn: Practice these V idioms

I actually recommend that my beginner and intermediate students focus on understanding, rather than using, idioms at the beginning. It's really easy to make mistakes with idioms because many are a bit tricky. Nonetheless, practicing by trying to write your own sentences is going to help you remember them better and this is a safe environment in which to practice. I will revise any mistakes in your practice sentences.

So try to use one or two idioms above in your own sentences.

Return from idiom list starting with "V" section to main idioms page.

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