from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Malicious ill will prompting an urge to hurt or humiliate.
  • n. An instance of malicious feeling.
  • transitive v. To show spite toward.
  • transitive v. To vent spite on.
  • transitive v. To fill with spite.
  • transitive v. To annoy: He did it just to spite her.
  • idiom in spite of Not stopped by; regardless of: They kept going in spite of their fears.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Ill will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; a desire to vex or injure; petty malice; grudge; rancor.
  • n. Vexation; chagrin; mortification.
  • v. To treat maliciously; to try to injure or thwart.
  • v. To be angry at; to hate.
  • v. To fill with spite; to offend; to vex.
  • prep. Notwithstanding; despite.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Ill-will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; petty malice; grudge; rancor; despite.
  • n. Vexation; chargrin; mortification.
  • transitive v. To be angry at; to hate.
  • transitive v. To treat maliciously; to try to injure or thwart.
  • transitive v. To fill with spite; to offend; to vex.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dislike; regard with ill-will.
  • To thwart; cross; mortify; treat maliciously: as, to cut off one's nose to spite one's face.
  • To fill with vexation; offend.
  • n. Injury; mischief; shame; disgrace; dishonor.
  • n. A disposition to thwart and disappoint the wishes of another; ill-will; malevolence; malice; grudge; rancor.
  • n. Chagrin; vexation; ill luck; trouble.
  • n. Synonyms Animosity, Ill-will, Enmity, etc. (see animosity), pique, spleen, defiance. In spite of, Despite, etc. See not-withstanding.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. hurt the feelings of
  • n. malevolence by virtue of being malicious or spiteful or nasty
  • n. feeling a need to see others suffer


Middle English, short for despit; see despite.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From a shortening of Middle English despit, from Old French despit (whence despite). Cf. also Dutch spijt. (Wiktionary)


  • And yet, in spite of that -- in _spite_ of that, I say -- we have thus far held the enemy at a standstill.

    The Destroyers

  • And yet in the very face of these plain, incontrovertible, all-visible facts, we go on from year to year with the base system of Academy teaching, in spite of which every one of these men has risen: I say _in spite_ of the entire method and aim of our art-teaching.

    Lectures on Architecture and Painting Delivered at Edinburgh in November 1853

  • "Now I arise," any extraordinary accession to the business, as it is technically called, of the scene: for I do not think that his resuming his magical robe was in any way necessary to account for the slumber which overcomes Miranda, "in spite of her interest in her father's story," and which Mr. Collier says the commentators have endeavored to account for in various ways; but putting "_because_ of her interest in her father's story," instead of "_in spite_ of," I feel none of the difficulty which beset the commentators, and which Mr. Collier conjures by the stage-direction which makes Prospero resume his magic robe at

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 35, September, 1860

  • People have died for that vote you are going to make, and to use it in spite is shamefull.

    Clinton campaigns in SD, hits McCain on Farm Bill

  • Your spite is a cancer that affects you and those around you.

    Clinton win leads to Obama boost

  • Hmmm … I love the idea of a whole host of characters who make us love them in spite of how messed up their thinking is!

    Distortion Theory « Tales from the Reading Room

  • I made the mistake of not reading The Hours first and the movie was so atrocious that I have not been able to bring myself to read the book in spite of knowing Cunningham did a good job and is a passsionate Woolf and Mrs. Dalloway fan.

    Virginia Woolf’s Nose « Tales from the Reading Room

  • If memory serves, you're description of Smith was in spite of him not really filling the role of leader of the party until the previous Budget (November '93), where he really tore Clarke to shread's.

    The Day John Smith Died

  • Nearly 20 years later, there is plenty of research and scientific consensus on the health effects ofincineration, in spite of what SEPA officials may claim.

    Greengairs Incinerator

  • With all of its terrible flaws and limitations, including horseplay and hooliganism, and in spite of its ineptitudes. inconsistencies, and disorganization, I believe in it, and I believe in it for this reason alone, that my writing is simultaneously uniquely my own, and not mine at all ….

    william saroyan | saroyan lives & breathes « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground


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