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.
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.
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