English edit

a stereotypical villain (1 & 3)

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Probably from Middle English vilein, from Old French vilein (modern French vilain), in turn from Late Latin villanus, meaning serf or peasant, someone who is bound to the soil of a Latin villa, which is to say, worked on the equivalent of a plantation in late Antiquity, in Italy or Gaul. Doublet of villein.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

villain (plural villains, feminine villainess)

  1. (Can we clean up(+) this sense?) A vile, wicked person.
    1. An extremely depraved person, or one capable or guilty of great crimes.
    2. A deliberate scoundrel.
  2. (archaic, derogatory) A low-born, abject person.
  3. In fiction, a character who has the role of being bad, especially antagonizing the hero; an antagonist who is also evil or malevolent.
    Synonyms: antagonist; see also Thesaurus:villain
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre[1]:
      Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
    • July 18 2012, Scott Tobias, AV Club The Dark Knight Rises[2]
      As The Dark Knight Rises brings a close to Christopher Nolan’s staggeringly ambitious Batman trilogy, it’s worth remembering that director chose The Scarecrow as his first villain—not necessarily the most popular among the comic’s gallery of rogues, but the one who set the tone for entire series.
  4. (poker) Any opponent player, especially a hypothetical player for example and didactic purposes. Compare: hero (the current player).
    Let's discuss how to play if you are the chip leader (that is, if you have more chips than all the villains).
  5. Archaic form of villein (feudal tenant, peasant, serf).

Synonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb edit

villain (third-person singular simple present villains, present participle villaining, simple past and past participle villained)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To debase; to degrade[16th century].

References edit

  1. ^ Hall, Joseph Sargent (March 2, 1942), “2. The Vowel Sounds of Unstressed and Partially Stressed Syllables”, in The Phonetics of Great Smoky Mountain Speech (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 4), New York: King's Crown Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § II.2, page 65.

Further reading edit

Anagrams edit

Finnish edit

Alternative forms edit

Noun edit


  1. (dated) genitive plural of villa

Anagrams edit

Old French edit

Noun edit

villain oblique singularm (oblique plural villainz, nominative singular villainz, nominative plural villain)

  1. Alternative form of vilain