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the villain of the piece

The person or thing most responsible or at fault for a bad situation or outcome. The company's safety supervisor cut corners on expensive safety equipment, but the real villains of the piece are the executives of the company who demanded that he keep costs down by any means necessary. Though they thought he'd left the gas oven on, it turns out that a faulty gas line was the villain of the piece.
See also: of, piece, villain

villain of the piece

Fig. someone or something that is responsible for something bad or wrong. (Fig. on the villainous role in a drama.) I wonder who told the newspapers about the local scandal. I discovered that Jane was the villain of the piece. We couldn't think who had stolen the meat. The dog next door turned out to be the villain of the piece.
See also: of, piece, villain

villain of the piece, the

The person to blame for what is bad or wrong, as in I'm afraid the caterer is the villain of the piece-the food wasn't ready for hours. The piece in this term alludes to a play in which the villain is the character whose evildoing is important to the plot. [Mid-1800s]
See also: of, villain

the villain of the piece

COMMON If you describe someone as the villain of the piece, you mean that they are responsible for all the trouble or all the problems in a situation. The real villains of the piece are the motor manufacturers. In a country where the top speed limit is 70mph, why do they make 140mph cars? If he is indeed the villain of the piece, as the police claim he is, he should have been more carefully watched. Note: In this expression, the `piece' is a play.
See also: of, piece, villain

the villain of the piece

the main culprit.
1928 P. G. Wodehouse Money for Nothing I'm sure you're on the right track. This bird Twist is the villain of the piece.
See also: of, piece, villain

the ˈvillain of the piece

(especially humorous) a person or thing that is responsible for a particular problem, difficulty, etc: Nicolette’s the villain of the piece, since she’s the person who started all this trouble.
The villain is the principal evil character in a book, a play, etc.
See also: of, piece, villain
References in periodicals archive ?
They believe Epic Hero and Villain Feat Cards goal is to improve the player and GM's control and enjoyment of the Tabletop RPG experience.
Yet considering the impact of actors and actresses on other Restoration genres it is surprising that no study has investigated how the actors of villainous roles affected the development and the demise of villain tragedy.
Sure, audiences love a hero, but it's the unpredictability of the villains that capture our imagination.
Overall, Ek Villain is what most Mohit Suri films have been: a foreign idea given a decent Bollywood makeover.
For a special Halloween nail look, consumers can choose between a 12-piece Disney Villains nail polish cube from e.
Pran played a villain in several hit movies opposite Bollywood's top actors, including Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand.
Though we did get two loud characters in recent times, Gulshan Grover and Shakti Kapoor, at times one would wonder whether Shakti Kapoor is a comedian or a villain, or a villain who is also a comedian.
Villains and villainy; embodiments of evil in literature, popular culture and media.
Dream, Whirlwind, The Digger, and Meteor are superheroes and villains Use the clues below to find each character's real name and if they are a hero or villain.
Pakistan, June 13 -- "The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture," said the thriller master Alfred Hitchcock.
However, an unknown villain does not want this pair to make it as he has plans for the estates; this person has killed and will do so again to accomplish what he desires.
Tybalt, in Kent Stowell's staging of Romeo and Juliet, was the first villain he portrayed.
We are going to look at the methods, strengths, and weaknesses of three major villain types that PMs may encounter.
When the nobly-born Richard of Gloucester declares his determination "to prove a villain," he means a malefactor only.