Synonyms & Antonyms of villainous

not conforming to a high moral standard; morally unacceptable
  • villainous behavior that made him one of the most notorious figures in history and gave rise to the legend of Dracula

Synonyms for villainous

Words Related to villainous

Near Antonyms for villainous

Antonyms for villainous

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About villainous

How does the adjective villainous differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of villainous are corrupt, degenerate, iniquitous, nefarious, and vicious. While all these words mean "highly reprehensible or offensive in character, nature, or conduct," villainous applies to any evil, depraved, or vile conduct or characteristic.

a villainous assault

When is corrupt a more appropriate choice than villainous?

While the synonyms corrupt and villainous are close in meaning, corrupt stresses a loss of moral integrity or probity causing betrayal of principle or sworn obligations.

city hall was rife with corrupt politicians

When is it sensible to use degenerate instead of villainous?

The synonyms degenerate and villainous are sometimes interchangeable, but degenerate suggests having sunk to an especially vicious or enervated condition.

a degenerate regime propped up by foreign powers

When might iniquitous be a better fit than villainous?

The words iniquitous and villainous can be used in similar contexts, but iniquitous implies absence of all signs of justice or fairness.

an iniquitous system of taxation

In what contexts can nefarious take the place of villainous?

The words nefarious and villainous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, nefarious suggests flagrant breaching of time-honored laws and traditions of conduct.

the nefarious rackets of organized crime

Where would vicious be a reasonable alternative to villainous?

Although the words vicious and villainous have much in common, vicious may directly oppose virtuous in implying moral depravity, or may connote malignancy, cruelty, or destructive violence.

a vicious gangster

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About villainous

Time Traveler for villainous

Time Traveler

The first known use of villainous was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near villainous




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Villainous.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on villainous

Nglish: Translation of villainous for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!