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 (see U). 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 (see Y), this Greek letter being either from the same Semitic letter as the digamma F (see 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.
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