arch·​vil·​lain | \ (ˌ)ärch-ˈvi-lən How to pronounce archvillain (audio) \
plural archvillains

Definition of archvillain

: a principal or extreme villain Mr. Bernstein is very much in labor's corner as he recounts his story, and he portrays Mr. Lorenzo as an archvillain, heaping blame on him at every turn.— William Stockton, New York Times Book Review, 26 Aug. 1990 Literary archvillains include Sherlock Holmes' archfoe Professor James Moriarty and Captain Ahab's murderous Moby Dick.— Sol Steinmetz, Semantic Antics, 2008

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First Known Use of archvillain

circa 1616, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for archvillain

arch- entry 1 + villain entry 1

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Learn More about archvillain

Time Traveler for archvillain

Time Traveler

The first known use of archvillain was circa 1616

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Cite this Entry

“Archvillain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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