villa

Definitions

General English

Real Estate

  • noun a detached or semidetached house in a residential area built in the late 19th or early 20th century
  • noun a detached suburban house built in the late 19th or early 20th century, usually with a veranda and bay window

Origin & History of “villa”

Latin vīlla denoted a ‘country house’. It was a condensation of an earlier *wīcslā, which in turn was derived from *wīcus ‘group of houses, camp, village, etc’ (source of the -wick, -wich of English place-names). And *wīcus was descended from Indo-European *weik-, *wik-, *woik-, which also produced Greek oī́kos ‘house’ (source of English economy). To the same family belong village (14th c.), a derivative of Old French ville in its extended sense ‘town’, and villain (14th c.), which came via Old French vilain from vulgar Latin *vīllānus, literally ‘dweller in a villa’, and originally denoted ‘feudal serf’ (now usually spelled villein, to distinguish it from the metaphorical ‘scoundrel, criminal’).
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