Share this entry

villainous Line breaks: vil¦lain|ous
Pronunciation: /ˈvɪlənəs/

Definition of villainous in English:


1Relating to, constituting, or guilty of wicked or criminal behaviour: a villainous plot
More example sentences
  • Britain has become a bolt-hole for villainous individuals and criminal organisations from all over the world.
  • Just as the novel rewards villainous behavior, so it promotes guilty identification that allows the reader to enjoy moral transgression by association.
  • What barbarous, villainous, and depraved acts did he commit that labor leaders and heads of national liberal groups denounce him as the enemy of minorities, the poor, women, and the environment?
wicked, evil, iniquitous, sinful, nefarious, vile, foul, monstrous, shocking, outrageous, atrocious, abominable, reprehensible, hateful, detestable, despicable, odious, contemptible, horrible, heinous, execrable, diabolical, diabolic, fiendish, vicious, murderous, barbarous, black, dark, rotten;
criminal, illicit, unlawful, illegal, illegitimate, lawless, felonious, indictable, transgressing, wrong, immoral, corrupt, degenerate, reprobate, sordid, depraved, dissolute, bad, base, dishonourable, dishonest, unscrupulous, unprincipled, underhand, roguish
informal crooked, bent, warped, low-down, stinking, dirty, shady, rascally, scoundrelly
British informal beastly, not cricket
archaic dastardly
rare egregious, flagitious
2 informal Extremely bad or unpleasant: a villainous smell
More example sentences
  • Victor, a tall wiry man with beady eyes and a villainous curly black goatee, announced calmly, unsmiling.
  • Owen backed up a step as Solstice rubbed up against him, indulging in a villainous grin.
  • He shot Janine a villainous grin as he pulled the car from his parking spot, she gave him an unamused look, but it became a playful grin seconds later.



Pronunciation: /ˈvɪlənəsli/
[as submodifier]: these chairs are villainously uncomfortable
More example sentences
  • Recent provocative and hooliganistic statements have villainously slandered our nation and threatened the joyful happiness of our people.
  • ‘Now,’ He grinned villainously, ‘You're going to do anything and everything that I want.’
  • We are simply enclosed in a media-dominated world of signs, villainously generated by capitalism to synthesize our desires, which only really refer to one another within an entrapping chain of ideas.


Example sentences
  • For some of us he was the main reason for tuning in - a fact not lost on casting directors who appreciate that Rickman's own brand of dark villainousness attracts more than a few female fans.
  • The story remains, as Thackeray subtitled it, one ‘Without a Hero,’ but by removing the very villainousness of his villain, Nair also removes any reason for us to be interested in her.
  • Their villainousness is so striking that the reader of the plays cannot help contemplating the dark side of human nature and exploring the motives of their evil behavior.

Words that rhyme with villainous


Definition of villainous in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person