villain


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 villains by the commission of a crime, but were villains before they committed it— Ruskin

}
Scoundrel may suggest blended worthlessness, meanness, and unscrupulousness
{

a crew of pirates . . . will elect a boatswain to order them about and a captain to lead them and navigate the ship, though the one may be the most insufferable bully and the other the most tyrannical scoundrel on board— Shaw

}
Blackguard may imply inveterate depravity; sometimes it is used with a suggestion of angry contempt as the antithesis of gentleman
{

you must employ either blackguards or gentlemen, or, best of all, blackguards commanded by gentlemen, to do butcher's work with efficiency and dispatch— Kipling

}
Knave may suggest sly trickery and deceit
{

cheating knaves gathered at the taverns

}
{

more fool than knave

}
Rascal may suggest base dishonesty
{

your true rascal is today your only true citizen of the world. He plunders all nations without pride in one or prejudice against another— Linklater

}
Rogue often suggests the blended roughness and wiliness of a vagabond
{

sturdy rogues taking to the roads as high-waymen

}
but both rascal and rogue are freely used with greatly weakened force and then imply no more than a more or less pleasing mischievousness
{

tell me about . . . the dear little roguesWhitman

}
{

the Yankee . . . was already established as a comic rascalBergen Evans

}
Scamp may describe one given to artful cheating, clever robbery, or interesting escapades
{

a scamp who had pinched pennies out of the teacups of the poor by various shenanigans, who was distributing his largess to divert attention from his rascality— White

}
and it, too, is often used with weakened force, then suggesting impish and often childish trickery
{

the most audacious scamp in all the animal kingdom is Bugs Bunny— My Baby Magazine

}
Rapscallion may refer to an ill-dressed rogue or rascal rarely successful
{

the rapscallions of the river, the Black Gangs— Le Sueur

}
Miscreant typically refers to a singularly conscienceless villain
{

a sordid glamour about imprisonment which makes the young miscreant feel important; he has the inverted satisfaction of being treated like a grown-up gangster— Times Lit. Sup.

}
Analogous words: offender, sinner (see corresponding nouns at OFFENSE): *criminal, malefactor

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

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 — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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, 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


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.