Sound value(1) In English, v nearly always represents a voiced labio-dental fricative. It occurs word-initially (valley), medially (even) and finally, usually supported by a following e (active, drove; rev). (2) Over centuries, there has been a tendency for medial v to become a vowel or disappear: hawk from OLD ENGLISH heafoc, the f pronounced /v/, head from Old English heafod, curfew from Anglo-Norman coeverfu, kerchief from Old French cuevre-chef, lady from Old English hlæfdige, laundry from Old French lavandier, lord from Old English hlaford, manure from Anglo-Norman mainoverer, poor from Middle English povere. (3) The once colloquial and now poetic forms e'en, e'er, ne'er, o'er mark the omitted v with an apostrophe.
Word-initial V(1) In Old English, initial /v/ did not generally occur, and therefore v was not written word-initially. Latin vannus was for example respelt fan, and most words currently spelt with initial v are of later Romance derivation: for example, vacant, vaccine, vague, vain, valley, value. (2) Exceptions have arisen from dialects in which f-became v (vane, vat, vixen) or are exotic loans (vaishya, Valhalla, Vanuatu, Viking, Vladimir, voltaic). (3) V does not normally occur syllable-initially before other consonants, vroom representing a conspicuous break with customary spelling patterns.
Word-final V(1) Except for a few modern slang or clipped forms such as lav, rev, spiv, gov, luv, v does not occur as a final letter in English. (2) Where /v/ occurs as a final sound, as in have, give, live, love, the present spelling became fixed before the final e fell silent. Although final e may indicate a preceding long vowel (save, eve, dive, rove), that vowel value is often already indicated by a digraph (waive, leave, sleeve, receive, believe, groove), or a modified value is indicated by r (starve, swerve, curve), and the final e again serves simply to camouflage final v.
Double VMedial v is found equally in words derived from Old English and Romance sources: anvil, envy, heavy, marvel, over. Because vv was already adopted as an early form of w, English did not double v even to indicate a preceding short vowel, as is common with other consonants (compare comma/coma), and ambiguity as to the length of a preceding vowel letter resulted. The spelling gives no indication of the differing vowel values in: having/shaving, seven/even, driven/enliven, hover/rover, lover/mover. More recently coined words not normally used in formal prose are under no such inhibition: bovver, navvy, revving, skivvy are all written with double v.
Miscellaneous(1) V does not normally occur after u, since until u and v were regularly distinguished, the sequence uv could equally be read as vu, vv, uu (but note for example uvular). A preceding u-sound is therefore commonly written o, as in dove, love, glove, cover, discovery. However, a modern mock-spelling such as luv for love doubly flouts the conventions, with preceding u and final v. (2) In the 16c, nevewe was respelt nephew, and now usually has a spelling pronunciation with /f/ (but compare French neveu). Similarly, Stephen/Steven are variants, both with a /v/ pronunciation, and etymological variation between b and v occurs in devil/diabolical. (3) Oral variation between v/w formerly occurred in COCKNEY: Sam Weller in DICKENS's Pickwick Papers (1836–7) spells his name Veller, and his father refers to the letter v as we. See, F, U, W.
V1 / vē/ (also v) • n. (pl. Vs or V's) 1. the twenty-second letter of the alphabet. ∎ denoting the next after U in a set of items, categories, etc. 2. (also vee) a shape like that of a letter V: [in comb.] deep, V-shaped valleys. ∎ [as adj.] denoting an internal combustion engine with a number of cylinders arranged in two rows at an angle to each other in a V-shape: a V-engine a 32-valve V8 power plant. 3. the Roman numeral for five. V2 • abbr. ∎ volt(s). • symb. ∎ the chemical element vanadium. ∎ voltage or potential difference: V = IR. ∎ (in mathematical formulae) volume: pV = nRT.
300 bps data transmission;
multispeed operation, with differing bit-rates on the incoming and outgoing circuits, at speeds up to 1200 bps;
functions of the circuits, and operating procedures for 25-pin serial interfaces;
further details relating to V24;
standards for data transmission at speeds up to 48 Kbps.
V-1 a small flying bomb powered by a simple jet engine, used by the Germans in the Second World War. Also called doodlebug.
V-2 a rocket-powered flying bomb, which was the first ballistic missile, used by the Germans in the Second World War.
V-sign a sign resembling the letter V made with the first two fingers pointing up and the palm of the hand facing outwards, used as a symbol or gesture of victory; a similar sign made with the back of the hand facing outwards, used as a gesture of abuse or contempt.
V ★★★ 1983
Very creepy scifi miniseries that spawned a shortlived TV show. Advanced aliens, known as the Visitors, come to Earth on a seemingly friendly quest. But their human-like appearance is a facade—as is their mission. Fake skin masks a repitilian hide and what they want is complete planetary control. Naturally, some earthlings don't fall for their smooth talk and a resistance movement is born. Followed by miniseries conclusion “V: The Final Battle.” 190m/C VHS, DVD . Marc Singer, Jane Badler, Faye Grant, Robert Englund, Michael Durrell, Peter Nelson, Neva Patterson, Andrew Prine, Richard Herd, Rafael Campos; D: Kenneth Johnson; W: Kenneth Johnson. TV
• (ital.) Physics, symbol for instantaneous potential difference
• Physics, symbol for instantaneous voltage
• (ital.) Chem., symbol for specific volume
• Spectroscopy, symbol for variable absorption
• (bold ital.) Physics, symbol for velocity
• (ital.) Physics, symbol for a velocity component or speed
• (ital.) Chem., symbol for vibrational quantum number
• Meteorol., symbol for (abnormally good) visibility