V to Vagary


1. V, the twenty-second letter of the English alphabet, is a vocal consonant. V and U are only varieties of the same character, U being the cursive form, while V is better adapted for engraving, as in stone. The two letters were formerly used indiscriminately, and till a comparatively recent date words containing them were often classed together in dictionaries and other books of reference The letter V is from the Latin alphabet, where it was used both as a consonant (about like English w) and as a vowel. The Latin derives it from it from a form (V) of the Greek vowel &UPSILON this Greek letter being either from the same Semitic letter as the digamma F or else added by the Greeks to the alphabet which they took from the Semitic. Etymologically v is most nearly related to u, w, f, b, p; as in vine, wine; avoirdupois, habit, have; safe, save; trover, troubadour, trope. See U, F, etc.

See Guide to Pronunciation, § 265; also §§ 155, 169, 178-179, etc.

2. As a numeral, V stands for five, in English and Latin.

(Vaag"mer) n. [Icel. vagmeri a kind of flounder, literally, wave mare.] (Zoöl.) The dealfish. [Written also vaagmær, and vaagmar.]

(Va"can*cy) n.; pl. Vacancies [Cf. F. vacance.]

1. The quality or state of being vacant; emptiness; hence, freedom from employment; intermission; leisure; idleness; listlessness.

All dispositions to idleness or vacancy, even before they are habits, are dangerous.
Sir H. Wotton.

2. That which is vacant. Specifically: —

(a) Empty space; vacuity; vacuum.

How is't with you,
That you do bend your eye on vacancy?

(b) An open or unoccupied space between bodies or things; an interruption of continuity; chasm; gap; as, a vacancy between buildings; a vacancy between sentences or thoughts.

(c) Unemployed time; interval of leisure; time of intermission; vacation.

Time lost partly in too oft idle vacancies given both to schools and universities.

No interim, not a minute's vacancy.

Those little vacancies from toil are sweet.

(d) A place or post unfilled; an unoccupied office; as, a vacancy in the senate, in a school, etc.

(Va"cant) a. [F., fr. L. vacans, -antis, p. pr. of vacare to be empty, to be free or unoccupied, to have leisure, also vocare; akin to vacuus empty, and probably to E. void. Cf. Evacuate, Void, a.]

1. Deprived of contents; not filled; empty; as, a vacant room.

Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form.

Being of those virtues vacant.

There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,
But has one vacant chair.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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