villain

[ vil-uhn ]
/ ˈvɪl ən /

noun

a cruelly malicious person who is involved in or devoted to wickedness or crime; scoundrel.
a character in a play, novel, or the like, who constitutes an important evil agency in the plot.
a person or thing considered to be the cause of something bad: Fear is the villain that can sabotage our goals.

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Origin of villain

First recorded in 1275–1325; from Middle English vilein, vilain “churlish rustic, serf,” from Middle French, from Vulgar Latin and Medieval Latin villānus “a farm servant, farmhand”; see origin at villa, -an

OTHER WORDS FROM villain

sub·vil·lain, nounun·der·vil·lain, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for villain

British Dictionary definitions for villain

villain
/ (ˈvɪlən) /

noun

a wicked or malevolent person
(in a novel, play, film, etc) the main evil character and antagonist to the hero
often jocular a mischievous person; rogue
British police slang a criminal
history a variant spelling of villein
obsolete an uncouth person; boor

Derived forms of villain

villainess, fem n

Word Origin for villain

C14: from Old French vilein serf, from Late Latin vīllānus worker on a country estate, from Latin: villa
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