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Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: spīt, IPA(key): /spaɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪt

Etymology 1[edit]

From a shortening of Middle English despit, from Old French despit (whence despite), from Latin dēspectum (looking down on), from Latin dēspiciō (to look down, despise). Compare also Dutch spijt.


spite (usually uncountable, plural spites)

  1. Ill will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; a desire to vex or injure; petty malice
    Synonyms: grudge, rancor.
    He was so filled with spite for his ex-wife, he could not hold down a job.
    They did it just for spite.
    • (Can we date this quote by Shakespeare?)
      This is the deadly spite that angers.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell, chapter 7, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473:
      Out of spite, the human beings pretended not to believe that it was Snowball who had destroyed the windmill: they said that it had fallen down because the walls were too thin.
  2. (obsolete) Vexation; chagrin; mortification.
    "The time is out of joint: O cursed spite." (Can we date this quote by Shakespeare?), Hamlet


spite (third-person singular simple present spites, present participle spiting, simple past and past participle spited)

  1. (transitive) To treat maliciously; to try to injure or thwart.
    She soon married again, to spite her ex-husband.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To be angry at; to hate.
    • Fuller
      The Danes, then [] pagans, spited places of religion.
  3. (transitive) To fill with spite; to offend; to vex.
    • Sir W. Temple
      Darius, spited at the Magi, endeavoured to abolish not only their learning, but their language.
Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions. You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.



  1. Notwithstanding; despite.




From English spite.




  1. in spite of
  2. defiantly

Usage notes[edit]

Often used with the accusative or with the preposition al.

Derived terms[edit]