villain

noun
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

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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

Of course, Fred could be killed off, a victim of Hiram Lodge, Gladys Jones, the Gargoyle King, or one of the many other villains on the show. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What Will Happen to "Riverdale" Following Luke Perry's Death?," 4 Mar. 2019 And yet just two days later, Trump is once again painting the media as the villain and the Republicans as the real victims. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump has passed on every chance to unite the country during the pipe bomb crisis," 26 Oct. 2018 More impressively, the show humanizes characters that would otherwise come across as merely villains. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The Dragon Prince is influenced by Avatar: The Last Airbender in the best ways," 7 Sep. 2018 Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. Fox News, "Brit Hume: Op-ed may be disloyal, but is in no way treason," 6 Sep. 2018 These weren’t cartoon villains, executing some master plan. Your Fat Friend, SELF, "Weight Stigma Kept Me Out Of Doctors’ Offices for Almost a Decade," 26 June 2018 There are no villains, no fights, no big showdowns. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“Leave No Trace” and “Three Identical Strangers”," 21 June 2018 Perhaps, rather than being the hero and the villain, Guardiola and Mourinho are more like Yin and Yang, two opposites who complement each other - maybe they even keep each other honest. SI.com, "Why the Premier League Would Be Far Less Interesting Without 'Special One' José Mourinho," 10 May 2018 Then there is M'Baku (Winston Duke), king of the rival Gorilla tribe, who manages to walk the line between hero and villain. Michael Sangiacomo, cleveland.com, "Black Panther rules in latest Marvel movie (Review)," 13 Feb. 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

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

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
somewhat old-fashioned : a person who does bad things
: someone or something that is blamed for a particular problem or difficulty

villain

noun
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on villain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with villain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for villain

Spanish Central: Translation of villain

Nglish: Translation of villain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of villain for Arabic Speakers

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