Confusing Words Clarified: Group V; Homonyms, Homophones, Homographs, Synonyms, Polysemes, etc. +

(lists of "V" sections that are organized into what for some people are confusing groups of words)

If you have any problems understanding the pronunciation symbols, go to this Pronunciation Chart for clarifications.

vial, vile
vial (VIGH uhl, VIGHL) (noun)
A very small glass or plastic container used for perfumes, medicines, etc.: "She inherited an exquisite vial with Channel No. 5 from her mother."
vile (VIGHL) (adjective)
1. Evil or immoral: "Articles about vile terrorist attacks have been filling our newspapers."
2. Very bad or unpleasant: "He made such vile remarks that she ran away crying."

The vial in his hand emitted a vile odor that reminded her of rotting fish.

vice, vise
vice (VIGHS) (noun)
1. Bad or immoral behavior or habits; wickedness: "His wife didn't know about his vice of gambling." 2. Minor or bad habit: "Smoking a cigarette twice a week was his primary vice."

"More and more, we are faced with the vice of greed in so many aspects of private and social existence."

3. Criminal activities that involve sex and drugs: "So many countries are being over whelmed with the crimes of vice which are increasing more and more."
vise (VIGHS) (noun)
A tool that is usually attached to a table and which has two flat parts that can be opened and closed by turning a handle or a lever to hold objects firmly in place so someone can work on them; such as, a piece of wood, metal, or other material: "He used his vise quite often for holding pieces of metal while he drilled holes in them and filed off the rough edges."

It is the business of a censor to acquaint us with vices we didn't know we had.

—Evan Esar

The vice squad of the local police force was confident that they had caught the gang members who used a special vise to break into a store.

vicious, viscose, viscous
vicious (VISH uhs) (adjective)
Disposed to or characterized by violent or destructive behavior: "The mean dog showed vicious behavior towards the mailman when he tried to deliver the mail."
viscose (VIS kohs) (noun)
The thick organic liquid cellulose used in the making of rayon and cellophane: "Her dress was made of 100 percent viscose fabric for a lighter and cooler feeling."
viscous (VIS kuhs) (adjective)
Having relatively high resistance to flowing or a thick, gummy liquid which is hard to pour: "Examples of viscous liquids include molasses, honey, oil, and syrup."

When the vicious boy tried to pour the viscous honey on his sister's new viscose dress, she was able to hit the jar and the sticky contents ended up on him instead.

victual, virtual
victual (VIT'l) (noun)
Food usable by people: "Charles Dickens' characters in his novels were often quite poor and were happy to have at least one victual in their bags."
virtual (VUR choo uhl) (adjective)
1. Very close to being something without actually being it: "Her winning the competition is a virtual certainty."
2. Existing or occurring on computers or on the internet: "You can browse anytime through the stores on the internet and do virtual shopping for books, clothing, CDs, and many other items."

In the virtual reality cooking program on TV, she watched the preparation of her favorite victual.

villain, villein
villain (VIL uhn) (noun)
1. A character in a story, movie, etc., who does bad things: "A villain is often pictured in stories as having a sharp nose, squinting eyes, and wearing a black cape."
2. Someone or something that is blamed for a particular problem or difficulty: "Don't try to make me the villain! I don't have anything to do with your problems!"
villein (VIL uhn, VIL ayn", vi LAYN) (noun)
A free common villager or village peasant of any of the feudal classes lower in rank than the thane or a man ranking above an ordinary freeman and below a noble in Anglo-Saxon England: "The villein and his family had to work hard in order to keep the cottage they were living in."

The villein who lived an exemplary and honest life was a twin brother of the villain who was a local robber.

vindication, vindictive
vindication (vin" di KAY shuhn) (noun)
The condition which shows that someone should not be blamed for a crime, mistake, etc.: "It was proven that she had nothing to do with the crime so her vindication was completely accepted."
vindictive (vin DIK tiv) (adjective)
Having or showing a desire to harm someone who has injured or caused problems for another person: "Shirley became very vindictive and aggressive towards her husband after their divorce."

The brother had a vindictive temper which seemed a vindication for his decision to terminate his contract as a mediator for labor disputes.

visa, vista
visa (VEE zuh) (noun)
An official mark or stamp on a passport that allows someone to enter or leave a country usually for a particular reason: "Her work visa finally arrived and she could then begin her job in Canada."
vista (VIS tuh) (noun)
1. A large and beautiful view of an area of land or water: "After climbing up the mountain she enjoyed the vista spread below her."
2. A large number of things that may be possible in the future: "New vistas for research in medicine have been opened up by the development of the computer."

Once the lady's visa had been approved, she took a train to the mountains where she could enjoy the impressive vista that stretched out in front of her.

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