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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


  • V.
  • Va (Department Of Veterans Affairs)
    a federal agency, which guarantees loans made to veterans; similar to mortgage insurance, a loan guarantee protects lenders against loss that may result from a borrower default.
  • Va Mortgage
    a mortgage guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Vacant
    1 : not filled or occupied 2 a : not put to use [ land] b : having no heir or claimant [a estate]
  • Vacant Succession
    see succession
  • Vacate
    va·cat·ed va·cat·ing vt 1 : to make void : annul set aside [ a lower court order] 2 a : to make vacant b : to give up the occupancy of vi : to vacate an office, post, or ...
  • Vacation
    1 : a period in which activity or work is suspended ;specif : an interval between judicial terms 2 : an act or instance of vacating [ of a judgment]
  • Vacatur
    [Medieval Latin, it is made null and void] : vacation [sought of the arbitration award]
  • Vagrancy
    pl: -cies 1 : the act or practice of wandering about from place to place 2 : the crime of wandering about without employment or identifiable means of support [the court struck down the law as ...
  • Vagrant
    [Anglo-French wagerant vageraunt, from present participle of vagrer walcrer to wander about, drift, probably from Old Norse valka to roll, wallow] : one who has no established residence and wanders ...
  • Vague
    : characterized by such a lack of precision that a person of ordinary intelligence would have to guess if particular conduct is being proscribed : characterized by a failure to describe forbidden ...
  • Vagueness Doctrine
    : void-for-vagueness doctrine
  • Valid
    1 : having legal efficacy or force [a license] ;esp : executed with proper authority and form [a contract] [a search] 2 : having a legitimate basis : justifiable [a reason for terminating the ...
  • Validate
    -dat·ed -dat·ing 1 a : to make valid b : to grant official sanction to by marking 2 : to confirm the validity of (an election) val·i·da·tion ...
  • Valuable Consideration
    see consideration
  • Valuation
    1 : the act or process of valuing [actuarial of the assets and liabilities of a state pension fund] ;specif : appraisal of property [ of marital property is a factual finding that will not be upset ...
  • Valuation Hearing
    see hearing
  • Value
    1 a : a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged [received good for the price] b : valuable consideration at consideration 2 : monetary worth ;esp : market ...
  • Value-Added Tax
    : a tax levied at each addition of value in the processing of a raw material, the performance of a service, or the production and distribution of a commodity with each payer except the consumer ...
  • Valued Policy
    : an insurance policy in which the insurer and insured agree on a stated amount that will be paid in the event of a future loss instead of an amount that would have to be proven as the actual loss
  • Valued Policy Law
    : a law requiring insurance companies to pay to the insured in case of total loss the full amount of insurance regardless of the actual value of the property at the time of the loss
  • Vandal
    [Vandal, member of a Germanic tribe who sacked Rome in A.D. 455] : a person who willfully destroys, damages, or defaces property belonging to another or to the public
  • Vandalism
    : the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of property [insurance covering property damage from and malicious mischief]
  • Vandalize
    -ized -iz·ing : to subject to vandalism
  • Var
    Acronym for Value Added Reseller. A VAR is a business that adds its own "value," or application, to an existing product, and resells the resulting enhanced product as a package.
  • Variable Annuity
    see annuity
  • Variable Cost
    A cost that varies directly with sales, such as raw materials, labor and sales commissions
  • Variable Expenses
    Costs or payments that may vary from month to month, for example, gasoline or food.
  • Variable Life Insurance
    see life insurance
  • Variable Universal Life Insurance
    see life insurance
  • Variance
    1 : a disagreement between two documents or positions ;esp : a disagreement between allegations (as in an indictment or complaint) and proof offered at trial that warrants an appropriate remedy (as ...
  • Vat
    : value-added tax
  • Vehicular Homicide
    see homicide
  • Vel Non
    : or not [the existence vel non of a genuine issue of material fact "Morris v. Smith, 837 P.2d 679 (1992)"]
  • Vend
    : to dispose of something by sale : sell ;also : to engage in selling vt : to sell esp. as a hawker or peddler
  • Vendee
    : one to whom a thing is sold
  • Vendor
    also vend·er [ven-dər] n : one that sells something
  • Vendor's Lien
    see lien
  • Venire
    [probably from venireman] : a panel from which a jury is to be selected compare array
  • Venire Facias
    [Medieval Latin venire facias (juratores or juratam) may you cause (the jurors or the jury) to come (words used in the writ)] : a writ ordering a sheriff to summon a jury
  • Venireman
    pl: -men [venire (facias) + man] : venireperson
  • Veniremember
    : venireperson
  • Venireperson
    : a member of a venire called also venireman veniremember
  • Venture
    : an undertaking involving chance, risk, or danger ;esp : a speculative business enterprise see also joint venture
  • Venture Capital
    see capital
  • Venue
    [Anglo-French, place where a jury is summoned, alteration (influenced by venue arrival, attendance) of vinné visné, literally, neighborhood, neighbors, from Old French, ultimately from ...
  • Verbal Act
    : an utterance that is direct evidence (as of an offense) and not hearsay [the offer of drugs for sale was admissible as a verbal act]
  • Verdict
    [alteration (partly conformed to Medieval Latin veredictum) of Anglo-French veirdit statement, finding, verdict, from Old French veir true (from Latin verus) + dit saying, from Latin dictum] 1 : the ...
  • Verification
    1 : an act or process of verifying 2 : a sworn statement of truth or correctness [submitted a signed by the defendant with the petition]
  • Verify
    -fied -fy·ing [Anglo-French verifier, from Medieval Latin verificare, from Latin verus true + -ficare to make] 1 : to confirm or substantiate by oath, affidavit, or deposition [ a motion] 2 : ...
  • Vertical Agreement
    : an agreement among economic competitors on different levels of production or distribution that affects competition compare horizontal agreement NOTE: Unlike horizontal agreements, vertical ...
  • Vertical Price-Fixing
    : an illegal arrangement in which parties at different levels of a system of production and distribution act to fix the market price of goods ;esp : resale price maintenance compare horizontal ...
  • Vertical Privity
    1 : privity between one who acquires property burdened with a restrictive covenant and those who executed the covenant [require vertical privity for a restrictive covenant to run with the land] 2 : ...
  • Vertical Restraint
    : a restraint of trade involving parties (as manufacturers and wholesalers) at different levels of a market structure
  • Vessel
    A ship, brig, sloop or other craft used, or capable of being used, in navigation on water. In order to be a vessel, for purposes of the Jones Act, the structure's purpose must be the transportation ...
  • Vest
    [Anglo-French vestir, literally, to clothe, from Old French, from Latin vestire] vt 1 a : to place in the possession, discretion, or province of some person or authority [all legislative powers ...
  • Vested
    1 : fully and absolutely established as a right, benefit, or privilege : not dependent on any contingency or condition ;specif : not subject to forfeiture if employment terminates before retirement ...
  • Vested Estate
    see estate
  • Vested Interest
    see interest
  • Vested Remainder
    see remainder
  • Vested Right
    : a right belonging completely and unconditionally to a person as a property interest which cannot be impaired or taken away (as through retroactive legislation) without the consent of the owner
  • Veto
    pl: ve·toes [Latin, I forbid, refuse assent to] 1 : an authoritative prohibition 2 a : a power vested in a chief executive to prevent permanently or temporarily the enactment of measures passed ...
  • Vexatious
    : lacking a sufficient ground and serving only to annoy or harass when viewed objectively [disciplined the attorney for engaging in litigation]
  • Viatical Settlement
    [probably from Latin viaticum provision for a journey] : an agreement by which the owner of a life insurance policy covering a person (as the owner) with a catastrophic or life-threatening illness ...
  • Vicarious
    : imposed on one person in place of another see also vicarious liability at liability vi·car·i·ous·ly adv vi·car·i·ous·ness n
  • Vicarious Liability
    see liability
  • Vice
    1 : a moral fault or failing 2 : defect 3 : immoral activity (as prostitution)
  • Vice President
    1 : an officer next in rank to a president and usually empowered to serve as president in that officer's absence or discharge 2 : any of several officers serving as a president's deputies in charge ...
  • Vice-
    : one that takes the place of [vice-chancellor]
  • Vice-Chancellor
    1 : an officer ranking next below a chancellor and serving as deputy 2 : a judge appointed to act for or to assist a chancellor
  • Vice-Consul
    : a consular officer subordinate to a consul general or to a consul
  • Vice-Presidency
    : the office of vice president
  • Vicinage
    [Anglo-French veisinage neighborhood, from veisin neighboring, from Old French, from Latin vicinus] : a particular vicinity or district: as a : the district in which a crime takes place and from ...
  • Vin
    Shorthand for "vehicle identification number." Your VIN is also relevant to areas other than insurance, but may come up in the insurance field if there is a question as to the ownership of your car. A ...
  • Violate
    -lat·ed -lat·ing : to go against (as a prohibition or principle) : fail to observe or respect [ a law] [civil rights were violated] [ due process] vi·o·la·tion ...
  • Violent Felony
    : a crime consisting of conduct that presents a serious risk of potential injury to another or that is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year used esp. in federal sentencing of career ...
  • Virile Share
    [partial translation of French part (or portion) virile equally alloted share (as in an intestate inheritance), from Latin pars virilis, literally, male's share] in the civil law of Louisiana : an ...
  • Vis Major
    [Latin, literally, greater force] : an overwhelming force ;also : act of god
  • Visa
    : an endorsement made on a passport by the proper authorities denoting that it has been examined and that the bearer may proceed
  • Visa Expiration Date
    The visa expiration date is shown on the visa. This means the visa is valid, or can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel for the same purpose, when the visa is ...
  • Visa Numbers
    Congress establishes the amount of immigration each year. Immigration for immediate relatives is unlimited; however, preference categories are limited. To distribute the visas fairly among all ...
  • Visa Validity
    This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel for the same purpose for visas, when the visa is issued for multiple entries. ...
  • Visa Waiver Program
    Allows citizens of certain selected countries, traveling temporarily to the United States under the nonimmigrant admission classes of visitors for pleasure and visitors for business, to enter the ...
  • Visa Waiver Program (Vwp)
    Citizens of participating countries meeting the Visa Waiver Program requirements to may be allowed to enter the United States as visitors for pleasure or business without first getting a visa. ...
  • Visas
    Temporary permission to visit a country for a limited time and purpose.
  • Visitation
    1 : an official visit (as for inspection) [ of the home of a neglected child] 2 : access to a child granted esp. to a parent who does not have custody [supervised ] [ rights]
  • Visitatorial
    : visitorial
  • Visitorial
    : of or relating to inspection or supervision [the powers of the state board of education]
  • Vitiate
    -at·ed -at·ing : to make ineffective [fraud s a contract]
  • Viva Voce
    [Medieval Latin, literally, by living voice] : through speech : by word of mouth [testify viva voce]
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Vr)
    Vocational rehabilitation generally includes a melting pot of services that are offered to injured employees to help them return to work following a work injury. VR may involve transferable skills ...
  • Void
    1 : of no force or effect under law [a marriage] 2 : voidable void·ness n
  • Void-For-Vagueness Doctrine
    : a doctrine requiring that a penal statute define a criminal offense with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited and in a manner that does not ...
  • Voidable
    : capable of being voided ;specif : subject to being declared void when one party is wronged by the other [a contract] void·abil·i·ty [vȯi-də-bi-lə-tē] n
  • Voidable Preference
    : preference
  • Voir Dire, n
    [Anglo-French, to speak the truth] : a formal examination esp. to determine qualification (as of a proposed witness) [the judge admitted the witness's expert testimony after a voir dire by the ...
  • Volenti Non Fit Injuria
    : to one who is willing no harm is done used as a common-law maxim expressing the principle that one is not injured when a risk is voluntarily assumed compare assumption of risk
  • Voluntary
    1 a : proceeding from one's own free choice or consent rather than as the result of duress, coercion, or deception [a statement] b : not compelled by law : done as a matter of choice or agreement [ ...
  • Voluntary Bankruptcy
    : bankruptcy declared upon petition of the debtor see also bankruptcy
  • Voluntary Bar
    : a bar to which lawyers are not required to belong to practice law in the state compare integrated bar
  • Voluntary Departure
    The departure of an alien from the United States without an order of removal. The departure may or may not have been preceded by a hearing before an immigration judge. An alien allowed to voluntarily ...
  • Voluntary Deposit
    see deposit
  • Voluntary Dismissal
    see dismissal
  • Voluntary Dissolution
    see dissolution
  • Voluntary Lien
    see lien
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
    see manslaughter
  • Voluntary Service Program
    An organized project that a religious or nonprofit charitable organization does to provide help to the poor or needy or to further a religious or charitable cause. Participants may be eligible for B ...
  • Voluntary Transfer
    A transfer of a debtor's property with the debtor's consent.
  • Voluntary Waste
    see waste
  • Volunteer
    1 : one that voluntarily undertakes something ;esp : one who without request, obligation, or an interest pays the debt of another and is denied reimbursement from subrogation 2 : one who receives ...
  • Vote
    [Latin votum vow, hope, wish] 1 a : a usually formal expression of opinion or will in response to a proposed decision ;esp : one given as an indication of approval or disapproval of a proposal, ...
  • Voting Rights
    1 : rights of participation in esp. public elections see also Voting Rights Act in the Important Laws section 2 : the rights of shareholders or directors to vote on corporate matters compare voting ...
  • Voting Stock
    see stock
  • Voting Trust
    see trust
  • Voting Trust Certificate
    : a certificate issued as evidence of the holder's beneficial interest in a voting trust
  • Vouch
    [Anglo-French voucher to call, summon, summon to court as guarantor of a title, ultimately from Latin vocare to call, summon] vt 1 : to summon into court 2 : to verify (a business transaction) by ...
  • Voucher
    [Anglo-French, summoning of a person to guarantee title, from voucher to summon] 1 : a documentary record of a business transaction 2 : a written affidavit or authorization 3 : a form or check ...
  • Vouching
    : an impermissible practice by a prosecutor of placing the prestige of the government behind its witness or otherwise insinuating to the jury that the prosecutor offers personal assurance of the ...
  • Vouching-In
    : a common-law procedural device in which a defendant named in a lawsuit notifies another that he or she will look to the other for indemnity of an adverse judgment and that the other will be bound ...
  • Vow
    : a solemn promise or statement ;esp : one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition [marriage s]
  • Voyage Policy
    : a marine insurance policy covering only a stated voyage
  • Vpn
    Acronym for Virtual Private Network. A VPN is a way to provide remote access to an organization's network via the Internet. VPNs send data over the public Internet through secure "tunnels."
  • Vulgar Substitution
    [French substitution vulgaire, from Latin substitutio vulgaris, literally, ordinary substitution, as distinguished from substitutio pupillaris substitution of an heir in place of a minor who actually ...
  • Vulture Fund
    see fund

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