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villainy

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n villainy a criminal or vicious act
    • n villainy the quality of evil by virtue of villainous behavior
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Villainy Abusive, reproachful language; discourteous speech; foul talk. "He never yet not vileinye ne said
      In all his life, unto no manner wight."
      "In our modern language, it [foul language] is termed villainy, as being proper for rustic boors, or men of coarsest education and employment.""Villainy till a very late day expressed words foul and disgraceful to the utterer much oftener than deeds."
    • Villainy The act of a villain; a deed of deep depravity; a crime. "Such villainies roused Horace into wrath.""That execrable sum of all villainies commonly called a slave trade."
    • Villainy The quality or state of being a villain, or villainous; extreme depravity; atrocious wickedness; as, the villainy of the seducer. "Lucre of vilanye .""The commendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n villainy The condition of a villain or serf; rusticity.
    • n villainy The character of being villainous; the qualities characteristic of a villain; extreme depravity; atrocious wickedness.
    • n villainy Discourteous or abusive language; opprobrious terms.
    • n villainy A villainous act; a crime.
    • n villainy Disgraceful conduct; conduct unbecoming a gentleman.
    • n villainy Synonyms Baseness, turpitude, atrocity, infamy. See nefarious.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Villainy the act of a villain: extreme depravity: an atrocious crime
    • ***

Quotations

  • Mark Twain
    Mark%20Twain
    “Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough.”
  • (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal
    (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) Juvenal
    “Many commit the same crime with a different destiny; one bears a cross as the price of his villainy, another wears a crown.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. vilanie, OF. vilanie, vilainie, vileinie, vilanie, LL. villania,. See Villain (n.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Orig. 'a serf attached to a farm,' O. Fr. villain—Low L. villanus—L. villa.

Usage

In literature:

The villainy of Julian of Ephesus engaged him chiefly, and his punishment.
"The City of Delight" by Elizabeth Miller
Now, Connor, aren't you up to the cunnin' villainy of the thraitor in that maynewvre?
"Fardorougha, The Miser The Works of William Carleton, Volume One" by William Carleton
While Mr. Hickman's over you, the tenants have some protection, in spite of your villainy, you unprincipled scoundrel.
"Valentine M'Clutchy, The Irish Agent The Works of William Carleton, Volume Two" by William Carleton
We lost them through the villainy of your agent.
"The Poor Scholar" by William Carleton
The helpless villainy of a Nero, or the calculating villainy of a Tiberius?
"The Grey Cloak" by Harold MacGrath
The whole transaction was a piece of as unmitigated villainy as ever transpired.
"The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power" by John S. C. Abbott
I'm quite sure she's capable of it, or of any other villainy.
"The Wharf by the Docks" by Florence Warden
An incomplete villainy would vex its designer as any unfinished work of art vexes the artist.
"The Judge" by Rebecca West
Nor can my silence, or acquiescence in your villainy be bought.
"The Gun-Brand" by James B. Hendryx
Is it 'the cruellest cut of all' when you talk of infinite kindness, yet attribute such villainy to me?
"The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, Vol. 1 (of 2) 1845-1846" by Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett
Justice was impartially administer'd, and the selling of the People to a Prince or Minister, was a Villainy unknown.
"A Voyage to Cacklogallinia" by Captain Samuel Brunt
The sight of the latter set his nerves tingling; his fingers itched to take some toll for the miseries he had endured through Diggle's villainy.
"In Clive's Command" by Herbert Strang
But together with his villainies, pray let his incoherences be observed.
"The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18)" by John Dryden
What villainy can I execute to-day?
"Memoirs of Arthur Hamilton, B. A. Of Trinity College, Cambridge" by Arthur Christopher Benson
Shall we therefore banish all characters of villainy?
"The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18)" by John Dryden
If I had one-half of your ability for villainy, I would have been rich long ago.
"Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XIII, Nov. 28, 1891" by Various
Wait till you lose everything by one man's villainy, then see if you won't curse him.
"Bad Hugh" by Mary Jane Holmes
You spoke just now of the village as being ruined years ago by the villainy of one man.
"An Alabaster Box" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and Florence Morse Kingsley
I claim to be a gentleman, and to be above any such villainy as you and Corny suggest.
"Within The Enemy's Lines" by Oliver Optic
Know you, Garrofat, and thee, Doola, that because of your villainy your lives are forfeit.
"Bright-Wits, Prince of Mogadore" by Burren Laughlin and L. L. Flood
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In poetry:

No, that indeed not;
But what is villainy in human eyes
May in the sight of God, the patriarch thinks,
Not be -
"Nathan The Wise - Act I" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
"With treason, villainy, and wrong,
My goodness he repay'd;
With jealous doubts he fill'd my lord,
And me to woe betray'd;
"Valentine and Ursine" by Anonymous British
For a cause so vile meet ending,
To set with a murder stain,
The "sum of human villainy"
Should die with the brand of Cain
"Death Of President Lincoln" by Nora Pembroke
Although they shew'd that, at God's aweful throne,
Each must a reck'ning make, when he is dead,
For ev'ry villainy, which he has done;
Yet it cou'd never enter to my head.
"The Complaint And The Advice Of Dives, To His Five Brethren (Part 1)" by Rees Prichard
So Gawain, looking at the villainy done,
Forbore, but in his heat and eagerness
Trembled and quivered, as the dog, withheld
A moment from the vermin that he sees
Before him, shivers, ere he springs and kills.
"Pelleas And Ettarre" by Alfred Lord Tennyson
You, the mischief-makers all, who in secret glee
Love to tell the villainies of a scamp like me;
There are things he’ll never tell—things you’ll never know—
Look into your own lives first—give the man a show.
"Give yourself a Show: New Year's Eve" by Henry Lawson

In news:

The villainies were acts of war against the United States.
Delicious villainy, Daniel Craig sexuality make for a thrilling Bond adventure in Skyfall.
A Place of Dreams, a Source of Villainy : How Foreign Movies Portray America.
The Enduring Villainy of Little Napoleon.
The Paranoid Style of Comic-Book Villainy .
Tale puts fresh spin on villainy at Vatican.
Richard III ' And The Art Of Villainy .
'Dallas' is back with new villainy, plenty of old faces.
Heck, the new Pac-12 is loaded with villainy .
Cinematic Villainy From the Year's Best Performers.
A video gallery of cinematic villainy featuring the best performers from the year in film.
'Breaking Bad': A complex look at villainy .
Intensity is rising in the politics of energy villainy .
Gay-Bashing, Villainy and the Oscars.
While most heroes are good and struggle with some flaw in that goodness – ambition, hubris, lust – it is not Macbeth 's villainy that keeps him up at night.
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