late 14c., "inhabited place larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town," from Old French vilage "houses and other buildings in a group" (usually smaller than a town), from Latin villaticum "farmstead" (with outbuildings), noun use of neuter singular of villaticus "having to do with a farmstead or villa," from villa "country house" (from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan"). As an adjective from 1580s. Village idiot is recorded from 1825. Related: Villager (1560s).
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