• synonyms


[vil-uh-nuh s]
See more synonyms for villainous on Thesaurus.com
  1. having a cruel, wicked, malicious nature or character.
  2. of, relating to, or befitting a villain: villainous treachery.
  3. outrageously base, wicked, or vile: a villainous attack on his character.
  4. very objectionable or unpleasant; bad; wretched: a villainous storm.
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Origin of villainous

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at villain, -ous
Related formsvil·lain·ous·ly, adverbvil·lain·ous·ness, nounnon·vil·lain·ous, adjectivenon·vil·lain·ous·ly, adverbnon·vil·lain·ous·ness, nounun·vil·lain·ous, adjectiveun·vil·lain·ous·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

shady, nefarious, vile, wicked, atrocious, bad, corrupt, crooked, cruel, culpable, deplorable, depraved, diabolical, dirty, evil, felonious, hateful, ignoble, illegal, illicit

Examples from the Web for villainous

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • You don't know, darling, the wickedness of that villainous baggage.

  • Wrens and sparrows are not too ignoble a quarry for this villainous gos-hawk!

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • The light was dim, the liquor was villainous, and the air was dense with tobacco smoke.

  • That's what it is to be shut up in these villainous ramparts.

  • The five men were here—Groff and four of his villainous companions.

    The World Beyond

    Raymond King Cummings

British Dictionary definitions for villainous


  1. of, like, or appropriate to a villain
  2. very bad or disagreeablea villainous climate
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Derived Formsvillainously, adverbvillainousness, 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

Word Origin and History for villainous


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper