vil·​lain | \ ˈvi-lən How to pronounce villain (audio) \

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

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 On Sunday, Booker definitely embraced being the villain. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 16 Jan. 2022 The Green Goblin is the most exciting villain of the five, as most fans want to see a Spider-Man vs. Chris Smith, BGR, 13 Dec. 2021 The second is that Jack is a red herring or a patsy, and that Eleanor is the primary villain of the season. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 8 Dec. 2021 Austin, typically in rom-coms the good-looking guy winds up being the villain but your character turns out to be a nice guy. Angela Dawson, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 At the same time, Scrooge is no villain, said Morris. Bo Emerson, ajc, 9 Nov. 2021 Either embrace being the villain or work your aggression issues out and move forward. Shamira Ibrahim, Vulture, 31 Oct. 2021 If Bond is the great villain of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, then Captain Nemo might secretly be its true hero. Christian Holub,, 24 Sep. 2021 The real villain of the film is the symbiote Carnage, played here by Jim Carrey, long rumored for role. Joe Reid, Vulture, 29 Dec. 2021

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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Time Traveler for villain

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near villain




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Statistics for villain

Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Villain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for villain



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


vil·​lain | \ ˈvi-lən How to pronounce villain (audio) \

Kids Definition of villain

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

More from Merriam-Webster on villain

Nglish: Translation of villain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of villain for Arabic Speakers


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