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2017 Word of the Year

villainy

[vil-uh-nee] /ˈvɪl ə ni/
noun, plural villainies.
1.
the actions or conduct of a villain; outrageous wickedness.
2.
a villainous act or deed.
3.
Obsolete. villeinage.
Origin of villainy
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English vile(i)nie, vilainie < Old French. See villain, -y3
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for villainy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They are presented as good and evil, as vice and virtue, as villainy and heroism.

  • An A1 piece of villainy was on, and they were conversing in low tones.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • Think of the cheek and villainy of that, and then speak to me of talking wildly!'

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • Did man ever hear of such a villainy—to fire a good ship in her misfortune?

    The House Under the Sea

    Sir Max Pemberton
  • Gubblum understood no more than that villainy had been at work.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • There was no villainy for which I was not ripe that night, it seemed.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • If he must suffer for his villainy, at least there would be compensations.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for villainy

villainy

/ˈvɪlənɪ/
noun (pl) -lainies
1.
conduct befitting a villain; vicious behaviour or action
2.
an evil, abhorrent, or criminal act or deed
3.
the fact or condition of being villainous
4.
(English history) a rare word for villeinage
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 villainy
n.

early 13c., from Old French vilanie, from villain; see villain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for villainy

14
17
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