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[vil-uh-nuh s] /ˈvɪl ə nəs/
having a cruel, wicked, malicious nature or character.
of, relating to, or befitting a villain:
villainous treachery.
outrageously base, wicked, or vile:
a villainous attack on his character.
very objectionable or unpleasant; bad; wretched:
a villainous storm.
Origin of villainous
Middle English word dating back to 1300-50; See origin at villain, -ous
Related forms
villainously, adverb
villainousness, noun
nonvillainous, adjective
nonvillainously, adverb
nonvillainousness, noun
unvillainous, adjective
unvillainously, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for villainously
Historical Examples
  • The sordid recital would be comical but that it is so villainously real.

    Egoists James Huneker
  • You have a way of keeping your head that I like, and your style is not so villainously bad.

    When a Man's Single J. M. Barrie
  • He was the "big man," a wizard—ugly, old, and villainously dirty.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • Of course what he had so villainously seized ought to be taken from him.

  • And all the while a local paper was villainously assailing Feeney.

  • He gazed at her villainously, out of sideward, blood-shot eyes.

    Shadows of Flames Amelie Rives
  • At the beginning of the volume, which is a small octavo, was a portrait of the poet, most villainously executed.

    Obiter Dicta Augustine Birrell
  • My spirits, which had before been villainously depressed, rose all at once, and I no longer despaired of restoration to society.

  • I think it was villainously low down of him, and at that moment I would have preferred Mr. Rumple to be sitting next me.

    The Letters of her Mother to Elizabeth W. R. H. (William Rutherford Hayes) Trowbridge
  • She was a villainously ugly animal of faded, sunburnt sorrel color.

British Dictionary definitions for villainously


of, like, or appropriate to a villain
very bad or disagreeable: a villainous climate
Derived Forms
villainously, adverb
villainousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for villainously



c.1300, from Old French vileneus, from villain; see villain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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