From Middle English vileinous, from Old French vileneus; surface analysis villain +‎ -ous.


  • IPA(key): /ˈvɪlənəs/
  • (file)


villainous (comparative more villainous, superlative most villainous)

  1. Of, relating to, or appropriate to a villain.
  2. Wicked, offensive, or reprehensible in nature or behaviour; nefarious.
    • 1601, Ben Jonson, Poetaster or The Arraignment: [], London: [] [R. Bradock] for M[atthew] L[ownes] [], published 1602, →OCLC, Act III:
      Tuc[ca]. [] Can thy Author doe it impudently enough? / Hiſt[rio]. O, I warrant you, Captaine: and ſpitefully inough too; he ha's one of the moſt ouerflowing villanous wits, in Rome. He will ſlander any man that breathes; If he diſguſt him. / Tucca. I'le know the poor, egregious, nitty Raſcall; and he haue ſuch commendable Qualities, I'le cheriſh him: []
    • 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney, N.S.W.: Ure Smith, published 1965, →OCLC, page 9:
      Bah! to this toilet for the villainous boredom of church.

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