[vil-uh-nuh s]
  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.

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 villainously

Historical Examples of villainously

  • The sordid recital would be comical but that it is so villainously real.


    James Huneker

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

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for villainously


  1. of, like, or appropriate to a villain
  2. 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 villainously



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper