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See also: spíte


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 and German Spiet.


spite (usually uncountable, plural spites)

  1. Ill will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the desire to unjustifiably irritate, annoy, or thwart; a want to disturb or put out another; mild malice
    Synonyms: grudge, rancor.
    He was so filled with spite for his ex-wife, his brother was afraid of what he might do.
    They did it just for spite.
    • c. 1597 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene i]:
      This is the deadly spite that angers.
    • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 7, in Animal Farm [], London: Secker & Warburg, →OCLC:
      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.
    • 2014, Emivita, By Any Means Necessary: My Personal Struggles with Good and Evil:
      sex with older men was a way to both internalize my spite towards my mother and to find security in a father figure I lacked with my own father.
  2. (obsolete) Vexation; chagrin; mortification.


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

  1. (transitive) To treat maliciously; to try to hurt or thwart.
    She soon married again, to spite her ex-husband.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To be angry at; to hate.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, edited by James Nichols, The Church History of Britain, [], new edition, volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      The Danes, then [] pagans, principally spited places of religion.
      The spelling has been modernized.
  3. (transitive) To fill with spite; to offend; to vex.
    • a. 1700, William Temple, “Some Thoughts upon Reviewing the Essay of Antient and Modern Learning”, in Miscellanea. The Third Part. [...], London: [] Jonathan Swift, [] Benjamin Tooke, [], published 1701, →OCLC, pages 240–241:
      But the laſt and fatal Blow, given to that antient Learning, was in the time of Darius, Father of Xerxes, who with the reſt of the Perſians, ſpighted at the Magi, upon the Uſurpation of the Crown by one of their Number, (that counterfeited a younger Son of Cyrus after the Death of Cambyſes,) when he came to be ſetled in that Throne, endeavour'd to aboliſh, not only their Learning and Credit, but their Language too, by changing the old Aſſyrian Characters, and introducing thoſe of Perſia, which grew to be the common Uſe of that whole Empire.

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or 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]



  • IPA(key): /ˈspi.tɛ/
  • Rhymes: -itɛ
  • Syllabification: spi‧te



  1. inflection of spity:
    1. neuter nominative/accusative/vocative singular
    2. nonvirile nominative/accusative/vocative plural