Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Vility noun [ Latin vilitas : confer French vileté , vilité , Old French vilté .] Vileness; baseness. [ Obsolete] Kennet.

Vill noun [ Old French ville , vile , a village, French ville a town, city. See Villa .] A small collection of houses; a village. "Every manor, town, or vill ." Sir M. Hale.

Not should e'er the crested fowl
From thorp or vill his matins sound for me.
Wordsworth.

» A word of various significations in English, law; as, a manor; a tithing; a town; a township; a parish; a part of a parish; a village. The original meaning of vill , in England, seems to have been derived from the Roman sense of the term villa , a single country residence or farm; a manor. Later, the term was applied only to a collection of houses more than two, and hence came to comprehend towns. Burrill . The statute of Exeter, 14 Edward I., mentions entire- vills , demivills , and hamlets .

Villa noun ; plural Villas . [ Latin villa , Late Latin also village, dim. of Latin vicus a village: confer Italian & French villa . See Vicinity , and confer Vill , Village , Villain .] A country seat; a country or suburban residence of some pretensions to elegance. Dryden. Cowper.

Village noun [ French, from Latin villaticus belonging to a country house or villa. See Villa , and confer Villatic .] A small assemblage of houses in the country, less than a town or city.

Village cart , a kind of two-wheeled pleasure carriage without a top.

Syn. -- Village , Hamlet , Town , City . In England, a hamlet denotes a collection of houses, too small to have a parish church. A village has a church, but no market. A town has both a market and a church or churches. A city is, in the legal sense, an incorporated borough town, which is, or has been, the place of a bishop's see. In the United States these distinctions do not hold.

Villager noun An inhabitant of a village.

Brutus had rather be a villager
Than to repute himself a son of Rome
Under these hard condition.
Shak.

Villagery noun Villages; a district of villages. [ Obsolete] "The maidens of the villagery ." Shak.

Villain noun [ Middle English vilein , French vilain , Late Latin villanus , from villa a village, Latin villa a farm. See Villa .]


1. (Feudal Law) One who holds lands by a base, or servile, tenure, or in villenage; a feudal tenant of the lowest class, a bondman or servant. [ In this sense written also villan , and villein .]

If any of my ansectors was a tenant, and a servant, and held his lands as a villain to his lord, his posterity also must do so, though accidentally they become noble.
Jer. Taylor.

» Villains were of two sorts; villains regardant , that is, annexed to the manor (LL. adscripti glebæ ); and villains in gross , that is, annexed to the person of their lord, and transferable from one to another. Blackstone.

2. A baseborn or clownish person; a boor. [ R.]

Pour the blood of the villain in one basin, and the blood of the gentleman in another, what difference shall there be proved?
Becon.

3. A vile, wicked person; a man extremely depraved, and capable or guilty of great crimes; a deliberate scoundrel; a knave; a rascal; a scamp.

Like a villain with a smiling cheek.
Shak.

Calm, thinking villains , whom no faith could fix.
Pope.

Villain adjective [ French vilain .] Villainous. [ R.] Shak.

Villain transitive verb To debase; to degrade. [ Obsolete] Sir T. More.

Villainous adjective [ Written also villanous .]


1. Base; vile; mean; depraved; as, a villainous person or wretch.

2. Proceeding from, or showing, extreme depravity; suited to a villain; as, a villainous action.

3. Sorry; mean; mischievous; -- in a familiar sense. "A villainous trick of thine eye." Shak.

Villainous judgment (O. E. Law) , a judgment that casts reproach on the guilty person.

--- Vil"lain*ous*ly , adverb Vil"lain*ous*ness , noun

Villainy noun ; plural Villainies . [ Middle English vilanie , Old French vilanie , vilainie , vileinie , vilanie , Late Latin villania . See Villain , noun ] [ 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.

The commendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy .
Shak.

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

He never yet not vileinye ne said
In all his life, unto no manner wight.
Chaucer.

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

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

3. The act of a villain; a deed of deep depravity; a crime.

Such villainies roused Horace into wrath.
Dryden.

That execrable sum of all villainies commonly called a slave trade.
John Wesley.

Villakin noun A little villa. [ R.] Gay.

Villan noun A villain. [ R.]

Villanage noun [ Old French villenage , vilenage . See Villain .]
1. (Feudal Law) The state of a villain, or serf; base servitude; tenure on condition of doing the meanest services for the lord. [ In this sense written also villenage , and villeinage .]

I speak even now as if sin were condemned in a perpetual villanage , never to be manumitted.
Milton.

Some faint traces of villanage were detected by the curious so late as the days of the Stuarts.
Macaulay.

2. Baseness; infamy; villainy. [ Obsolete] Dryden.

Villanel noun [ See Villanelle .] A ballad. [ Obsolete] Cotton.

Villanella noun ; plural Villanelle . [ Italian , a pretty country girl.] (Mus.) An old rustic dance, accompanied with singing.

Villanelle noun [ French] A poem written in tercets with but two rhymes, the first and third verse of the first stanza alternating as the third verse in each successive stanza and forming a couplet at the close. E. W. Gosse.

Villanette noun [ Dim. of villa ; formed on the analogy of the French.] A small villa. [ R.]

Villanize transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Villanized ; present participle & verbal noun Villanizing .] To make vile; to debase; to degrade; to revile. [ R.]

Were virtue by descent, a noble name
Could never villanize his father's fame.
Dryden.

Villanizer noun One who villanizes. [ R.]

Villanous adjective Vil"lan*ous*ly adverb , Vil"lan*ous*ness noun , See Villainous , etc.

Villany noun See Villainy .

Villatic adjective [ Latin villaticus belonging to a country house. See Village .] Of or pertaining to a farm or a village; rural. "Tame villatic fowl." Milton.

Villein noun (Feudal Law) See Villain , 1.

Villenage noun [ See Villanage .] (Feudal Law) Villanage. Blackstone.

Villenous adjective Of or pertaining to a villein.

Villi noun , plural of Villus .

Villiform adjective [ Villus + - form .] Having the form or appearance of villi; like close-set fibers, either hard or soft; as, the teeth of perch are villiform .

Villose adjective (Botany) See Villous .

Villosity noun
1. State of being villous.

2. (Botany) A coating of long, slender hairs.

3. (Anat.) A villus.

Villous adjective [ Latin villosus : confer French villeux . Confer Velvet .]
1. Abounding in, or covered with, fine hairs, or a woolly substance; shaggy with soft hairs; nappy.

2. (Anat.) Furnished or clothed with villi.

Villus noun ; plural Villi . [ Latin , shaggy hair, a tuft of hair.]
1. (Anat.) One of the minute papillary processes on certain vascular membranes; a villosity; as, villi cover the lining of the small intestines of many animals and serve to increase the absorbing surface.

2. plural (Botany) Fine hairs on plants, resembling the pile of velvet.

Vim noun [ Latin , accusative of vis strength.] Power; force; energy; spirit; activity; vigor. [ Colloq.]

Vimen noun [ Latin , a twig.] (Botany) A long, slender, flexible shoot or branch.

Viminal adjective [ Latin viminalis pertaining to osiers, from vimen a pliant twig, osier.] Of or pertaining to twigs; consisting of twigs; producing twigs.

Vimineous adjective [ Latin vimineus , from vimen pliant twig.]
1. Of or pertaining to twigs; made of pliant twigs. "In the hive's vimineous dome." Prior.

2. (Botany) Producing long, slender twigs or shoots.

Vin ordinaire [ French, lit., common wine.] A cheap claret, used as a table wine in France.

Vinaceous adjective [ Latin vinaceus . See Vine .]
1. Belonging to, or like, wine or grapes.

2. Of the color of wine, especially of red wine.

Vinaigrette noun [ French, from vinaigre vinegar.]
1. (Cookery) A sauce, made of vinegar, oil, and other ingredients, -- used esp. for cold meats.

2. A small perforated box for holding aromatic vinegar contained in a sponge, or a smelling bottle for smelling salts; -- called also vinegarette .

3. A small, two-wheeled vehicle, like a Bath chair, to be drawn or pushed by a boy or man. [ R.]

Vinaigrous adjective [ French vinaigre vinegar.]
1. Resembling vinegar; sour.

2. Fig.: Unamiable; morose. Carlyle.

Vinasse noun [ French] (Chemistry) The waste liquor remaining in the process of making beet sugar, -- used in the manufacture of potassium carbonate.

Vinatico noun [ Portuguese vinhatico .] Madeira mahogany; the coarse, dark-colored wood of the Persea Indica .

Vincentian adjective Of or pertaining to Saint Vincent de Paul, or founded by him. [ R.]

Vincentian noun (R. C. Ch.) (a) Same as Lazarist . (b) A member of certain charitable sisterhoods.

Vincetoxin noun (Chemistry) A glucoside extracted from the root of the white swallowwort ( Vincetoxicum officinale , a plant of the Asclepias family) as a bitter yellow amorphous substance; -- called also asclepiadin , and cynanchin .

Vincibility noun The quality or state of being vincible, vincibleness.

Vincible adjective [ Latin vincibilis , from vincere to vanquish, conquer: confer French vincible . See Victor .] Capable of being overcome or subdued; conquerable. "He, not vincible in spirit . . . drew his sword." Hayward. " Vincible by human aid." Paley.

Vincible ignorance (Theol.) , ignorance within the individual's control and for which, therefore, he is responsible before God.

Vincibleness noun The quality or state of being vincible.

Vincture noun [ Latin vinctura , from vincire , vinctum , to bind.] A binding. [ Obsolete]

Vinculum noun ; plural Latin Vincula , English Vinculums . [ Latin , from vincire , vinctum , to bind.]
1. A bond of union; a tie.

2. (Math.) A straight, horizontal mark placed over two or more members of a compound quantity, which are to be subjected to the same operation, as in the expression x 2 + y 2 - x + y .

3. (Anat.) A band or bundle of fibers; a frænum.

4. (Zoology) A commissure uniting the two main tendons in the foot of certain birds.