- 1(In a film, novel, or play) a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot: a pantomime villain I have played more good guys than villainsMore example sentences
- Voldermort is the evil villain in the novel, the murderer of Harry's parents, and the creature who plans to kill Harry.
- This ancestry may also account for the difficulty of explaining the motives of Shakespeare's villains.
- This is a line that is greatly overused in action movies where an evil villain has plotted to take over the world… or whatever.
- 1.1British • informal A criminal: some people have been tricked by villains with false identity cards the armed villains run off into the nightMore example sentences
criminal, lawbreaker, outlaw, offender, felon, convict, jailbird, malefactor, wrongdoer, black hat, supervillain; transgressor, sinner; gangster, gunman, bandit, brigand, desperado, thief, robber, mugger, swindler, fraudster, racketeer, terrorist, pirate; rogue, scoundrel, wretch, heel, reprobate, charlatan, evil-doer, ruffian, hoodlum, hooligan, thug, delinquent, ne'er-do-well, good-for-nothing• informal crook, con, crim, baddy, shark, rat, snake, snake in the grass, dog, hound, louse, swine, scumbag, wrong 'unmalfeasant, misfeasor, infractor
- One villains' network put up for sale a database containing credit card details of 7,000 Britons.
- As has been pointed out previously on spiked, the status of victim and villain are often interchangeable.
- The Chinese government's reaction - every so often - is to behead a bunch of obvious and odious villains.
- 1.2The person or thing responsible for specified problems, harm, or damage: the industrialized nations are the real environmental villainsMore example sentences
- But it is the Scottish banks which are the real villains of the piece, all huddled together in an abysmal performance right at the bottom of the league table.
- The real villains of this piece are the weekend cottagers, who bring little to our Dales communities except inflated house prices.
- They even try to hold the country's governing council responsible for the villain's actions and demand immediate attacks.
- 2 • archaic variant spelling of villein.
the villain of the piece
- British The person or thing responsible for all of the trouble or harm in a particular situation: TV tends to be cast as the villain of the piece Holdsworth was the villain of the piece when he missed an open goalMore example sentences
- He thinks she's trying to make him out to be the villain of the piece.
- The locked-up wife is transformed into the villain of the piece.
- Jones, the villain of the piece to Americans, was an Australian.
Middle English (in the sense 'a rustic, boor'): from Old French vilein, based on Latin villa (see villa).