Villainy Vil"lain*y, n.; pl. {Villainies}. [OE. vilanie, OF. vilanie, vilainie, vileinie, vilanie, LL. villania. See {Villain}, n.] [Written also {villany}.] 1. The quality or state of being a villain, or villainous; extreme depravity; atrocious wickedness; as, the villainy of the seducer. ``Lucre of vilanye.'' --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

The commendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Abusive, reproachful language; discourteous speech; foul talk. [Archaic] [1913 Webster]

He never yet not vileinye ne said In all his life, unto no manner wight. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

In our modern language, it [foul language] is termed villainy, as being proper for rustic boors, or men of coarsest education and employment. --Barrow. [1913 Webster]

Villainy till a very late day expressed words foul and disgraceful to the utterer much oftener than deeds. --Trench. [1913 Webster]

3. The act of a villain; a deed of deep depravity; a crime. [1913 Webster]

Such villainies roused Horace into wrath. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

That execrable sum of all villainies commonly called a slave trade. --John Wesley. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • villainy — index atrocity, corruption, delinquency (misconduct), knavery, mischief, misdeed, misdoing, wrong …   Law dictionary

  • villainy — early 13c., from O.Fr. vilanie, from villain; see VILLAIN (Cf. villain) …   Etymology dictionary

  • villainy — [vil′ənē] n. pl. villainies [vil′ənēz΄] [ME vileinie < Anglo Fr & OFr vilainie < vilain: see VILLAIN] 1. the fact or state of being villainous 2. villainous conduct 3. a villainous act; wicked, detestable, or criminal deed …   English World dictionary

  • villainy — [[t]vɪ̱ləni[/t]] N UNCOUNT Villainy is very bad or criminal behaviour. [FORMAL] They justify every villainy in the name of high ideals …   English dictionary

  • villainy — 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… …   English terms dictionary

  • villainy — noun (plural lainies) Date: 13th century 1. villainous conduct; also a villainous act 2. the quality or state of being villainous ; depravity …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • villainy — /vil euh nee/, n., pl. villainies. 1. the actions or conduct of a villain; outrageous wickedness. 2. a villainous act or deed. 3. Obs. villeinage. [1175 1225; ME vile(i)nie, vilainie < OF. See VILLAIN, Y3] * * * …   Universalium

  • villainy — noun a) Evil or vicious character or behaviour. b) A vicious or treacherous act …   Wiktionary

  • villainy — Synonyms and related words: abomination, atrocity, bad, baseness, chicanery, degradation, disgrace, error, evil, infamy, iniquity, knavery, knavishness, moral turpitude, obliquity, peccancy, rascality, rascalry, reprobacy, roguery, roguishness,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • villainy — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. roguery, rascality; criminality, depravity, wickedness, wrongdoing. See improbity. II (Roget s IV) n. Syn. depravity, knavery, corruptness, wickedness; see evil 1 . III (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) n.… …   English dictionary for students

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