List of V Idioms:

This list of V 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.
  • Our group project was terrible because two of the members refused to collaborate and did their work in a vacuum.


in vain:  without success.

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


vanish into thin air:  to completely disappear.

  • I turned my back for one moment at the park and in that time my dog had vanished into thin air.
  • Whenever I put chocolates in the kitchen at the office, they vanish into thin air  within just 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 with a vengeance  in the second.


on the verge:  close to doing or experiencing something.

  • I was on the verge  of accusing my roommate of stealing my money from the jar in the kitchen when I remembered I’d used it to pay the pizza delivery man.
  • 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 the nutritionist recommended 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.
  • It’ll take in the vicinity  of five hours to drive to my aunt's house if there's no 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 initially loses a lot of weight but then gains back more weight than when they first started the diet.
  • Lying creates a vicious circle  as you have to keep telling new lies to cover the old ones.


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

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

on view:  on display where everyone can see something.

  • Did you see the art exhibit? There are many famous impressionist paintings on view.
  • There are many technology improvements on view  at the auto expo this year.

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.
  • The introduction of the report gives an excellent bird’s-eye view of the new project.

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

  • College admission officers normally take a dim view  of students who don’t list 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.
  • By virtue of the court ruling,  my dad can only visit us when a chaperone is present.


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, my suggestion to give everyone a small bonus was a lone voice in the wilderness.
  • In class, I always feel like a lone voice in the wilderness  because of my liberal opinions.


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 with two young kids.
  • I’m afraid I’ll never find anyone to fill the void  after my secretary retires.
  • Many people spend money they don't have trying to fill a void  in their lives.


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.
  • The fact that three of your four children are in medical school speaks volumes  about your parenting skills.


vouch for something:  to support the truth of something.

  • Even though you didn’t see her at her desk, I can vouch that she arrived on time  yesterday and went straight to the manager's meeting.
  • I can vouch for his skills as a speaker.  He is competent, informative and engaging.


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.
  • Please don't vote down my proposal  until you read it.

Have you signed-up for my free newsletter? I include an audio magazine article every month that's choc full of new vocabulary and idioms.

You can also find many idiom definitions using an online learner's dictionary.

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. 

So try to use an idiom from the list above in your own sentence.

› "V" Idioms

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