villain Definition

  • 1a character in a story or film who is evil and does bad things
  • 2a person who is responsible for causing trouble, harm, or damage

Using villain: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "villain" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The villain of the movie was a ruthless businessman who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

  • Example

    He was accused of being the villain behind the company's financial troubles.

  • Example

    The novel's villain was a cunning and manipulative woman who plotted to destroy the protagonist's life.

villain Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for villain

Idioms Using villain

  • play the villain

    to act in a way that makes people think you are the bad guy


    He enjoys playing the villain in movies and TV shows.

  • used to say that someone who does bad things or has a guilty conscience will not be able to relax or enjoy themselves


    I have to finish this report tonight - no rest for the wicked, I guess.

  • to acknowledge someone's good qualities even if you don't like them


    I don't like him, but I have to give the devil his due - he's a talented musician.

Phrases with villain

  • arch-villain

    the main villain in a story or series of stories


    Batman's arch-villain is the Joker.

  • the person or thing that is causing all the problems in a particular situation


    The villain of the piece turned out to be the CEO, who had been embezzling funds from the company.

  • a situation where one bad thing leads to another, creating a cycle of negative events


    The country was caught in a villainous circle of poverty and corruption.

Origins of villain

from Old French 'vilain', meaning 'peasant, farmhand'


Summary: villain in Brief

A 'villain' [ˈvɪlən] is an evil character in a story or film, or a person who causes harm or trouble. It can refer to a main antagonist, as in 'Batman's arch-villain is the Joker,' or to a person causing problems, as in 'He was accused of being the villain behind the company's financial troubles.' 'Villain' also appears in idioms like 'play the villain,' meaning to act like the bad guy, and 'no rest for the wicked,' implying that bad people cannot relax.

How do native speakers use this expression?