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 Big-time soccer, of course, has experienced no shortage of villainy. Jason Gay, WSJ, "The Super League Is Dead. Here’s What Sports Learned.," 21 Apr. 2021 By a stroke of luck and, later, a bit of villainy, the two end up representing Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest. Thomas Constantine Moore, USA TODAY, "‘Husavik’ saved me during a breakup last summer. Why the parody ballad from ‘Eurovision’ deserves an Oscar," 20 Apr. 2021 As Made for Love looks towards a possible second season (HBO Max has yet to order more episodes), the series has set Hazel on her own complicated path toward villainy. Ariana Romero,, "Does The Made For Love Finale Make Hazel Into A Monster Too?," 16 Apr. 2021 Ultimately, those forces come together in Precious' determination to break a cycle of villainy the movie implies is much like a cycle of abuse. Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune, "The 7 best movie villains of all time, from the glamorous to the downright evil," 14 Apr. 2021 After last week’s episode tried for some nuance with both John Walker and Karli Morgenthau, this one starts inching them more into pure villainy. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: The Man Behind the Mask," 2 Apr. 2021 The story will precede the events of 101 Dalmatians and will follow Cruella’s rise to fashion royalty and general villainy. Madison Durham, USA TODAY, "How to watch Disney's "Cruella" prequel starring Emma Stone," 2 Apr. 2021 And the Flag Smashers themselves definitely seem on the more morally complex end of the MCU villainy spectrum, along with Zemo himself and Erik Killmonger. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Recap: Two (Butting) Heads Are Better Than One," 26 Mar. 2021 Both roles showcased O’Hare’s ability to evince villainy, cut with something more disarmingly human. Nate Jones, Vulture, "The 32 Greatest Character Actors Working Today," 21 Nov. 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

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

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Statistics for villainy

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Villainy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for villainy



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

More from Merriam-Webster on villainy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for villainy

Nglish: Translation of villainy for Spanish Speakers

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