vil·​lainy | \ ˈvi-lə-nē How to pronounce villainy (audio) \
plural villainies

Definition of villainy

1 : villainous conduct also : a villainous act
2 : the quality or state of being villainous : depravity

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Synonyms & Antonyms for villainy



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Examples of villainy in a Sentence

a story of villainy and betrayal the gruesome villainies of war
Recent Examples on the Web However, the breadcrumbs suggesting Raúl’s villainy begin with Control Z's very first episode. Ariana Romero,, "Who Is Control Z’s Hacker? The Shocking Answer, Explained," 26 May 2020 But without resorting to individual people, there are larger, overarching forces of villainy at work behind all this. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "We're living in a horror film fueled by ignorance. Here's why there's no easy end in sight," 1 June 2020 Now, even the villainy of big data feels quaint, and Dolores’s bloody fight for free will against any notion of government control may seem more fraught than originally intended. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Westworld Season 3 Had a Villain Problem," 5 May 2020 Hamm is absurdly handsome as always, and meant to embody the villainy of the state. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "The People vs. Richard Jewell," 20 Dec. 2019 Comic book stories and their subsequent film adaptations have often combined disability and villainy in one. Kristen Lopez, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Joker' and When Physical Disability Is the Punchline," 8 Oct. 2019 At the height of his villainy, post-WWII, Ijichi led a major gambling ring in Tokyo’s Asakusa entertainment district. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Best Books to Read if You're Dreaming of Japan," 30 Mar. 2020 Of course, even if Waititi were to accept the challenge of taking on the Jedi, the Sith and assorted scum and villainy, there is also the question of timing. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Taika Waititi Courted for 'Star Wars' Movie (Exclusive)," 16 Jan. 2020 The author broaches every kind of human valor, villainy and vulnerability: drug addiction, forbidden desires and laudable do-gooding, among others. Michael Upchurch, New York Times, "It’s 2038. The World Is Dust and Forests Are Scarce.," 25 Feb. 2020

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for villainy

Time Traveler

The first known use of villainy was in the 13th century

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Statistics for villainy

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Villainy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for villainy


How to pronounce villainy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of villainy

formal : evil behavior or actions


vil·​lainy | \ ˈvi-lə-nē How to pronounce villainy (audio) \
plural villainies

Kids Definition of villainy

: bad or evil behavior or actions

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More from Merriam-Webster on villainy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for villainy

Spanish Central: Translation of villainy

Nglish: Translation of villainy for Spanish Speakers

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