Villain Vil"lain, n. [OE. vilein, F. vilain, LL. villanus, from villa a village, L. villa a farm. See {Villa}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Feudal Law) One who holds lands by a base, or servile, tenure, or in villenage; a feudal tenant of the lowest class, a bondman or servant. [In this sense written also {villan}, and {villein}.] [1913 Webster]

If any of my ansectors was a tenant, and a servant, and held his lands as a villain to his lord, his posterity also must do so, though accidentally they become noble. --Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

Note: Villains were of two sorts; villains regardant, that is, annexed to the manor (LL. adscripti gleb[ae]); and villains in gross, that is, annexed to the person of their lord, and transferable from one to another. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

2. A baseborn or clownish person; a boor. [R.] [1913 Webster]

Pour the blood of the villain in one basin, and the blood of the gentleman in another, what difference shall there be proved? --Becon. [1913 Webster]

3. A vile, wicked person; a man extremely depraved, and capable or guilty of great crimes; a deliberate scoundrel; a knave; a rascal; a scamp. [1913 Webster]

Like a villain with a smiling cheek. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Villain — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Erwin Villain (1898–1934), deutscher Arzt und SA Führer Raoul Villain (1885–1936), französischer Nationalist Marcel Brun, Pseudonym Jean Villain (1928–2006), Journalist und Schriftsteller Jean Villain… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • villain — c.1300, base or low born rustic, from Anglo Fr. and O.Fr. villain, from M.L. villanus farmhand, from L. villa country house (see VILLA (Cf. villa)). The most important phases of the sense development of this word may be summed up as follows:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • villain — villain, scoundrel, blackguard, knave, rascal, rogue, scamp, rapscallion, miscreant can all denote a low, mean, and reprehensible person utterly lacking in principles. Villain describes one utterly given to crime, evil, and baseness {are not made …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • villain — villain, villein The two spellings are forms of a single word with two branches, originally meaning either ‘a low born rustic’ or ‘a serf in the feudal system’ and derived from the Latin word villa meaning ‘country house or farm’. The spelling… …   Modern English usage

  • Villain — Vil lain, a. [F. vilain.] Villainous. [R.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Villain — Vil lain, v. t. To debase; to degrade. [Obs.] Sir T. More. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • villain — index convict, criminal, hoodlum, malefactor, wrongdoer Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • villain — [n] evil person antihero, blackguard*, brute, caitiff, creep*, criminal, devil, enfant terrible*, evildoer, heel, libertine, lowlife*, malefactor, mischief maker*, miscreant, offender, profligate, rapscallion, rascal, reprobate, scoundrel, sinner …   New thesaurus

  • villain — ► NOUN 1) a person who is guilty or capable of a crime or wickedness; a wrongdoer. 2) a character in a novel or play whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot. DERIVATIVES villainous adjective villainy noun. ORIGIN originally in the …   English terms dictionary

  • villain — [vil′ən] n. [ME vilein < OFr vilain < VL villanus, a farm servant < L villa, a farm: see VILLA] 1. a person guilty of or likely to commit great crimes; evil or wicked person; scoundrel 2. a wicked or unprincipled character in a novel,… …   English World dictionary

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