villain

noun
vil·lain | \ˈvi-lən \

Definition of villain 

1 : a character in a story or play who opposes the hero

2 : a deliberate scoundrel or criminal

3 : one blamed for a particular evil or difficulty automation as the villain in job … displacement— M. H. Goldberg

4 : villein

5 : an uncouth person : boor

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Nearly every single lead has been a white man — save for the easily white-passing Latinx Juan Pablo Galavis, who turned out to be his own season’s villain. refinery29.com, "Can We Start The Wills Reid For Bachelor Campaign Right Now?," 10 July 2018 West Wing alum most likely to turn up as a horrifying villain who imagines himself a good dude. Constance Grady, Vox, "The Handmaid’s Tale introduces a burst of dark camp in “Postpartum”," 4 July 2018 Among fireflies, however, villains hide among the artists. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Why Bioluminescence Evolved to Be Red Light, and Blue," 26 June 2018 Each weekend gives adults and children the chance to play interactive theatrical games by defeating evil villains and completing quests. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "Take a day trip to the past at Bristol Renaissance Faire," 25 June 2018 Richard III is often played as a hunchback, grotesque in mind and body, half murderous villain and half special effect. Joel Brown, BostonGlobe.com, "Capturing the villainy of Richard III, from the inside out," 12 July 2018 For a few hours, there are villains and there are heroes. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Netflix Is Making the Rom-Com Cool Again," 10 July 2018 In Young Justice: Outsiders, the teenage superheroes of the DC universe come of age in an animated world of super-powers, super-villains, and super-secrets. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Comic-Con 2018: Here's your Friday schedule," 6 July 2018 But news organizations ranging from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to the Chicago Tribune told a simple story with Lopes cast as the villain and her boyfriend, the NFL player Andre Rison, as the victim. Rhaina Cohen, The New Republic, "What the 1990s Got Wrong," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'villain.' 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 villain

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

History and Etymology for villain

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

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Statistics for villain

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for villain

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

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More Definitions for villain

villain

noun

English Language Learners Definition of villain

: a character in a story, movie, etc., who does bad things

: a person who does bad things

: someone or something that is blamed for a particular problem or difficulty

villain

noun
vil·lain | \ˈvi-lən \

Kids Definition of villain

1 : a wicked person

2 : a character in a story or play who opposes the hero or heroine

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Comments on villain

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