English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - V
|vanish into thin air||If something
vanishes into thin air, it disappears
completely in a mysterious way.
The diamonds vanished into thin air - nobody knows what happened to them.
|variety is the spice of life||
This expression means that life is more
interesting when you try to do different
Since they retired, my parents have been trying out all sorts of new activities. Variety is the spice of life!
|vent your spleen||When you vent your spleen, you
release or express all your anger about
Whenever Harry is angry about new government measures, he vents his spleen by writing to newspapers.
|nothing ventured, nothing gained||This expression
means that you cannot expect to achieve
anything if you risk nothing.
He's going to ask his boss for a promotion even though he has little chance of obtaining satisfaction - nothing ventured, nothing gained!
|vertically challenged||This term is a humoristic way of
referring to someone who is not very tall.
High shelves are difficult for vertically challenged shoppers.
|vested interest||If you have a vested interested
in a situation or event, you expect to
benefit or gain an advantage from it.
Tony has a vested interest in Fred's promotion; he hopes to get his job!
|vicious circle||When the solution to a problem creates
another problem similar to the original, or
makes it worse, so that the process starts
all over again, the situation is called
a vicious circle.
I borrowed money to reimburse Paul. Now I've got to reimburse the bank, with interest. It's a vicious circle.
|dim view||If you take a dim view of
something, you do not approve of it.
When Harry and Sally decided to live together without getting married, their grandparents took a dim view of the situation.
|vim and vigour||If you are full of vim and vigour,
you have lots of vitality, energy and
After a relaxing holiday, my parents came back full of vim and vigour.
|in vino veritas||This expression,
which in Latin means 'in wine there is
truth', is a way of saying that wine makes
people less inhibited and leads them to
speak more freely and reveal their true
After a few drinks he told us the whole story - in vino veritas!
|virtue is its own reward||The knowledge that you have done the right thing, or that you have acted in a moral way, is sufficient reward and you should not expect more.|
|by virtue of||The term by virtue of means
'due to', 'because of' or 'on account of'
The old lady got the most comfortable armchair by virtue of her age.
|make a virtue of necessity||If someone does something commendable,
not deliberately but because they have no
choice, and pretends to be doing it
willingly and happily, they make a
virtue of necessity.
When, because of the high price of petrol, I decided to walk to work instead of taking my car, I made a virtue of necessity.
|with one voice||Two or more groups or organisations who
are in complete agreement are said to speak
with one voice.
For once the government and the trade unions are speaking with one voice.
|voice in the wilderness||If you are the only person to express a
warning or an opinion on a matter which is
ignored by most others, you are a voice
in the wilderness.
For many years she was a voice in the wilderness protesting against child labour.
|vote with one's feet||If you vote with your feet,
your show your dislike or disapproval of
something by leaving.
If the conference is boring, people will probably vote with their feet.
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