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.

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