vil·​lain ˈvi-lən How to pronounce villain (audio)
: a character in a story or play who opposes the hero
: a deliberate scoundrel or criminal
: one blamed for a particular evil or difficulty
automation as the villain in job … displacementM. H. Goldberg
: an uncouth person : boor

Examples of villain in a Sentence

He plays the villain in most of his movies. She describes her first husband as a villain who treated her terribly. Don't try to make me the villain. It's your own fault that you're having these problems.
Recent Examples on the Web At the same time, Sara Sampaio, the Portuguese model known for her Victoria’s Secret work, has been cast as Eve Teschmacher, the assistant and sometimes mistress to the scheming villain Lex Luthor (Nicholas Hoult). Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Nov. 2023 There was no doubt about it: Charles and Camilla were the villains of this chapter. Louis Staples, Rolling Stone, 18 Nov. 2023 In the meantime, Glover has released Atlanta’s third and fourth seasons—allegedly its final seasons—covered Brittany Howard, been tapped to write a movie based on Lando and star in another as Spider-Man villain Hypno-Hustler, and made the horror series Swarm. Jazz Monroe, Pitchfork, 16 Nov. 2023 With the world order disrupted, Mario searches for seven stars to defeat villain Smithy and his pointy lackeys. WIRED, 15 Nov. 2023 Thunderbolts, a Suicide Squad-like assembly of cast-off MCU villains? Paul Tassi, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Marvel movies have long suffered from what fans and commentators call a villain problem, where the bad guy is rarely as interesting as the superhero. Bypaolo Confino, Fortune, 13 Nov. 2023 In the film, out Nov. 22, Asha is a 17-year-old who lives in the magical kingdom of Rosas — a fantastical kingdom ruled by Disney’s newest villain, Chris Pine’s King Magnifico. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 10 Nov. 2023 Brie Larson's Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel takes on a new Kree villain named Dar-Benn in The Marvels. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 7 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'villain.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English vilain, vilein, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin villanus, from Latin villa

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Time Traveler
The first known use of villain was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near villain

Cite this Entry

“Villain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


vil·​lain ˈvil-ən How to pronounce villain (audio)
: an evil person : scoundrel
: a character in a story or play who opposes the hero

More from Merriam-Webster on villain

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