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 Similar to the Star Wars packs, the Super Mario cookies featured heroes and villains from the video game’s universe. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 15 May 2024 But making the character just a nuttier version of a jokey Australian male stereotype also robs him of the dimensionality that any villain who’s going to support Miller’s reach for mythic proportions would seem to require. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for villain 

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 26 May. 2024.

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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