bad guy


Definition of bad guy

1 informal : the villain in a story : baddie played the bad guy in the movie
2 informal : someone who is likened to the villain in a story: such as
a : a criminal Designed to keep guns out of the hands of bad guys and children …Popular Science
b : a military enemy … a decision that owes more to parochial conflicts within the Armed Forces than to doing the best job of surveilling bad guys.— Stuart F. Brown
c : someone who deserves to be blamed or criticized for causing a bad situation Meanwhile, it's the environmentalists who are now portrayed as the bad guys, hiring lots of lawyers, consorting with congressmen …— Eric Alterman
d : a person who treats other people harshly or strictly : a person who says or does unpopular things Parenting isn't just about having beautiful kids and being busy. It's about dealing with problems, and your success as a parent depends on your willingness to be the bad guy. If you aren't willing to be the bad guy, you shouldn't be a parent.— Roy Bragg

Examples of bad guy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Corbin is an outlier in the business, eschewing the chance to sell extra t-shirts by embracing his role as a certifiable bad guy. Justin Barrasso,, "Enthusiatic Villain Baron Corbin Eager to Be Crowned ‘King of the Ring’," 16 Sep. 2019 That's before Billie Eilish dethroned him, sweeping in up top like the bad guy late last month (duh). Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Who Had the Hottest Summer 2019? Vote for Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Billie Eilish & More," 5 Sep. 2019 The main character, Dex Parios (played in the TV show by Cobie Smulders), is a private investigator with a dramatic past and messy personal life, who braves getting roughed up and tangling with bad guys to solve cases. oregonlive, "Greg Rucka on his ‘Stumptown’ comics becoming a TV show, which previews Saturday at Rose City Comic Con," 14 Sep. 2019 Peter Hilton and Michael Kaye assume these assignments with astonishing energy, switching personas in a matter of seconds to enact cops, bad guys and, on occasion, female characters. Daily Pilot, "On Theater: 39 wild and crazy ‘Steps’ at Mesa Playhouse," 26 Aug. 2019 But portraying the cops as the bad guys in this clown show seems very unfair. Kevin Cullen,, "If you’re always woke, you’re never rested," 5 Sep. 2019 So wherever the rebels go, the bad guys will follow. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 26 Aug. 2019 Such weapons just let bad guys skirt gun control laws. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Today: Where are all the wildfires?," 22 Aug. 2019 If the bad guys are trying to sack you, just give ’em the ball. Scott Ostler,, "Jay-Z will be a superstar NFL (talent-search) quarterback," 17 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bad guy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bad guy

1914, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

22 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for bad guy

The first known use of bad guy was in 1914

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