vil·​lain·​ess ˈvi-lə-nəs How to pronounce villainess (audio)
: a woman who is a villain

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Folie à Deux continues the story of Joaquin Phoenix's troubled clown character, and will introduce Gaga as Harley Quinn, the villainess famously played by Margot Robbie in a number of DC movies. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 5 Feb. 2023 Ti West surprised audiences at the end of X with the promise of Pearl, a prequel exploring the bloody origin story of X’s villainess. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Dec. 2022 The boss, Clyde (the galvanic Tamberla Perry), is a larger-than-life, terrifyingly glamorous villainess in an ever-changing carapace of Lycra and leather haute couture. Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 Channeling her inner villainess, Kardashian went all-out for the Midori Green Halloween party in 2011. Ariana Quihuiz, Peoplemag, 12 Oct. 2022 There’s magic gone wrong and light-hearted tension and music and dancing and silliness and a villainess played by Maya Rudolph. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Nov. 2022 Famed actress Elizabeth Taylor had a brief stint on the series in 1981 as the villainess Helena Cassadine, who famously crashed the wedding of Luke and Laura. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2022 The eight-part HBO series stars Alicia Vikander as Mira, a Hollywood performer bored with blockbusters who agrees to play the iconic titular villainess in a shambolic TV production in Paris. Leah Greenblatt,, 3 June 2022 There were lines to meet the Emmy winner Bonnie Bartlett, 92, who played Barbara Thorndyke, a fan-favorite villainess in a single third-season episode. New York Times, 4 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'villainess.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of villainess was in 1586

Dictionary Entries Near villainess

Cite this Entry

“Villainess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


vil·​lain·​ess ˈvil-ə-nəs How to pronounce villainess (audio)
: a woman who is a villain

More from Merriam-Webster on villainess

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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