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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English vileinie, vileynye, from Anglo-Norman vilenie, from Old French vilanie.


villainy (countable and uncountable, plural villainies)

  1. (uncountable) Evil or wicked character or behaviour.
    • 1977, Star Wars, spoken by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness):
      You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
  2. (countable) A wicked or treacherous act.
  3. (uncountable, obsolete) Ill-treatment, indignity, degrading or shameful treatment of someone.
  4. (uncountable, obsolete) Disgrace, ignominy.
  5. (uncountable, obsolete) The state of being a villein or serf, and by extension servitude or low estate in life.
  6. (uncountable, obsolete) Boorishness, rudeness, bad cultivation or manners.

Etymology 2[edit]

From villain +‎ -y.


villainy (comparative more villainy, superlative most villainy)

  1. Characteristic of a villain.
    • 1839, Robert Folkestone Williams, The Youth of Shakspeare:
      We are all villainy— very villainy, as I am a Christian man.
    • 1993, William Froug, Screenwriting Tricks of the Trade, page 51:
      Apparently, in both domestic and foreign movies, you can't get too villainy to displease an audience.
    • 2019, Greg Gutfeld, The Gutfeld Monologues, page 166:
      Yet here, actual reality offers you the worst villain ever and you say, sorry, he is too villainy.