November means it is time for knee-high boots, cozy knitwear, and all things pumpkin spice. November is also National Novel Writer’s Month known as NANOWRIMO. It  is an internet-based creative contest to write a first draft of a novel in one month with a minimum of 50,000 words. It is intense, and wonderful, and nerve-wracking. Want to know why your writer friends are dodging your calls? Chances are they are cramming to meet their daily goal for 1667 words to stay on track. Are you taking part? Bless you. Welcome to this rollercoaster of an adventure.

What is a story without a dastardly villain? I pulled a list of some of my favorite synonyms for  villainous to add to your vocab tool box. These delectable beauties will grab readers by the thesaurus and keep them coming back for more.



This is a handy little adjective that is defined as “deserving blame.”

“The words leapt from his mouth; spinning destruction in their wake. Humphrey didn’t intent to hurt anyone. Regardless, he was culpable for damage nonetheless.”


I love the way this one feels when I say it out loud. There is something weighty and wrought with good old fashioned guilt with this adjective that means “characterized by injustice or wickedness; wicked; sinful”

“I’ve toed the straight and narrow for so long Miss Sarah. What did it get me? Not a thing! Well, I will have none of it now. It’s time I took what I want without thought to another. Iniquitous or no, the time to grasp life by the horns is here.”


This little beauty has a veritable treasure trove of definitions. It is an adjective that can be described as: wretchedly bad, highly offensive, unpleasant, objectionable, repulsive, depraved, filthy, and nauseating.

“Get your filthy hands off me you vile excuse for a human being!”


I can’t say this word without putting my nose up in the air. It just sounds snooty.

It has the illustrious definition of: deserving of reproof, rebuke, or censure; blameworthy

“Really Charlotte, must you traipse about in broad daylight in trousers? Your dear mother, god rest her sweet soul, would be scandalized by your reprehensible behavior.”


I once scored the highest score of my Scrabble career with this word. I might as well stop playing. It is only downhill from here. Felonious is a legal term that means: pertaining to, the nature of, or involving a felony. It can also mean: wicked, base, or villainous.

“You might as well start referring to yourself as Felonious Phillip. Your lack of sound judgement in the company you keep is likely to land you in the slammer any day now.


This word drips with disdain when uttered by one of your characters lips. It means: vicious, depraved, heretic, or infidel.

“The cloaked miscreant stepped lightly around the travelers sleeping fitfully on the stone church floor. They plucked valuables from the unsuspecting and pocketed them without a sound.”


This adjective comes from the Latin word peccāre which means ‘to err’. It means: sinning; guilty of a moral offense, violating a rule, principle or established practice. The British also include the definition of morbid or inciting disease.

“The young man knelt and begged for forgiveness. ‘I know that my peccant ways have shamed you and our family. I pray that you will find it in your heart to accept this as a true act of contrition.’ ”


The lexiconical version of a ‘hunk of junk’, this adjective means: of low character, aims or means; inferior quality; of humble birth or rank;

“Mark my words Miss Caroline, ignoble birth or no, this young man will rise to great heights. Just you wait and see.”


I giggle when I see this word. I keep picturing Dr. Nefario from Despicable Me.

It comes from the Latin word nefārius which means “offense against the divine or moral law”

This adjective means: heinous; flagitious; infamous; atrocious; execrable; iniquitous, or wicked.”

“ His green eyes gleamed in wicked delight as the nefarious plot unfurled around him.”


Often confused with the homonym elicit, Illicit is an adjective that means: not legally permitted or authorized; unlicensed; unlawful; not permitted for moral or ethical reasons.

“Billy held the illicit goods in his grubby hands. He chanced a quick peek to make sure that it hadn’t escaped his grasp; and disappeared into the night.”


Which adjectives do you use to describe the villains in your stories?

Join the conversation in the comments below.

Write on my friends.

You can do this!


Jerusha Gray

Jerusha Gray is insatiably curious. This curiosity, coupled with a brain that never shuts up, drives her to paint and draw, read prodigiously, make music, write, and sing in grocery stores.


Facebook Comments