from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Being or behaving like a villain.
  • adjective Appropriate to or characteristic of a villain.
  • adjective Highly unpleasant or annoying.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to, befitting, or having the character of a villain, in any sense; especially, very wicked or depraved; extremely vile.
  • Proceeding from extreme wickedness or depravity: as, a villainous action.
  • Of things, very bad; dreadful; mean; vile; wretched.
  • In a vile manner or way; villainously.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Base; vile; mean; depraved.
  • adjective Proceeding from, or showing, extreme depravity; suited to a villain.
  • adjective Sorry; mean; mischievous; -- in a familiar sense.
  • adjective (O. E. Law) a judgment that casts reproach on the guilty person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of, relating to, or appropriate to a villain
  • adjective obnoxious, offensive or reprehensible in nature or behaviour; nefarious

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective extremely wicked


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Clearly, he considered me to have engaged in villainous practices.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • While Megatron and Optimus Prime are fighting, Megatron says in villainous fashion, "These humans don't deserve to live!" to which Optimus replies, "They deserve to choose for themselves!"

    Movie Review: Transformers

  • Plato to be pitied or laughd at? must he be elegized or odified? or be sung in villainous ballads to a scurvey tune?

    Letter 68

  • That Emma has been flippant rather than villainous is the saving grace that makes Mr. Knightley’s reprimand seem not only tolerable but meliorative, an appeal to a latent, better self, one informed by the "natural charity" of her "heart," as A. Walton Litz puts it (141).

    Boxing Emma; or the Reader’s Dilemma at the Box Hill Games

  • A nation that once was great is now called villainous because of people like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    A Letter to Ali Khameini

  • Nor does either of these dramas, though the earlier depicts a corrupt civilisation, include even among the minor characters anyone who can be called villainous or horrible.

    Shakespearean Tragedy Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth

  • The "Nihongi" gives dates of events supposed to have happened fifteen hundred years before, with an accuracy which may be called villainous; while the "Kojiki" states that Wani, a Korean teacher, brought the "Thousand Character Classic" to Japan in A.D.

    The Religions of Japan From the Dawn of History to the Era of Méiji

  • These assertions will be estimated at the proper value by those who are acquainted with Trenchard's pamphlets, pamphlets in which the shocking word villainous will without difficulty be found, and which are full of malignant reflections on William.

    The History of England, from the Accession of James II — Volume 5

  • What separates the heroic from the villainous is the use, and abuse, of power.

    Buffalo Pundit

  • Holland / Swamp Thing nearly completes this desire until the scientist, Jason Woodrue aka the villainous Floronic Man, hired by Swamp Thing's


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