[vil-uh-nuh s]


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 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for villainous

Contemporary Examples of villainous

Historical Examples of villainous

  • 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



of, like, or appropriate to a villain
very bad or disagreeablea villainous climate
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper