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- villan (archaic)
Probably from Middle English vilein, from Old French vilein (modern French vilain), in turn from Late Latin villanus, meaning serf or peasant, someone who is bound to the soil of a Latin villa, which is to say, worked on the equivalent of a plantation in late Antiquity, in Italy or Gaul. Doublet of villein.
- IPA(key): /ˈvɪl.ən/
- (dialectal) IPA(key): /ˈvɪl.jən/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪlən
- Homophone: villein
villain (plural villains, feminine villainess)
- (Can we clean up(+) this sense?) A vile, wicked person.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene v], page 258, column 1:
- Oh moſt pernicious woman! / Oh Villaine, Villaine, ſmiling damned Villaine!
- c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii], page 145, column 2:
- Thou ly’ſt thou ſhagge-ear’d Villaine.
- (archaic, derogatory) A low-born, abject person.
- c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. […] The First Part […], 2nd edition, part 1, London: […] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, […], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act III, scene iii:
- Note the preſumption of this Scythian ſlaue:
I tel thee villaine, thoſe that lead my horſe
Haue to their names tytles of dignitie,
And dar’ſt thou bluntly cal me Baiazeth?
- In fiction, a character who has the role of being bad, especially antagonizing the hero.
- Synonyms: antagonist; see also Thesaurus:villain
- 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre:
- Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
- July 18 2012, Scott Tobias, AV Club The Dark Knight Rises
- As The Dark Knight Rises brings a close to Christopher Nolan’s staggeringly ambitious Batman trilogy, it’s worth remembering that director chose The Scarecrow as his first villain—not necessarily the most popular among the comic’s gallery of rogues, but the one who set the tone for entire series.
- (poker) Any opponent player, especially a hypothetical player for example and didactic purposes. Compare: hero (“the current player”).
- Let's discuss how to play if you are the chip leader (that is, if you have more chips than all the villains).
- Archaic form of villein (“feudal tenant, peasant, serf”).
- See also Thesaurus:villain
- See also Thesaurus:troublemaker
bad person in a stage or screen play
a peasant free of serfdom
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
villain (third-person singular simple present villains, present participle villaining, simple past and past participle villained)
- (obsolete, transitive) To debase; to degrade[16th century].
- ^ Hall, Joseph Sargent (March 2, 1942), “2. The Vowel Sounds of Unstressed and Partially Stressed Syllables”, in The Phonetics of Great Smoky Mountain Speech (American Speech: Reprints and Monographs; 4), New York: King's Crown Press, →DOI, →ISBN, § II.2, page 65.
villain m (oblique plural villainz, nominative singular villainz, nominative plural villain)
- Alternative form of vilain
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