noun, plural vil·lain·ies.

the actions or conduct of a villain; outrageous wickedness.
a villainous act or deed.
Obsolete. villeinage.

Origin of villainy

1175–1225; Middle English vile(i)nie, vilainie < Old French. See villain, -y3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for villainy

Contemporary Examples of villainy

Historical Examples of villainy

  • 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.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Think of the cheek and villainy of that, and then speak to me of talking wildly!'

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for villainy


noun plural -lainies

conduct befitting a villain; vicious behaviour or action
an evil, abhorrent, or criminal act or deed
the fact or condition of being villainous
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

Word Origin and History for villainy

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper