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.
- 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.
- He was so filled with spite for his ex-wife, he could not hold down a job.
- They did it just for spite.
- This is the deadly spite that angers.
1945 May, 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.
- (obsolete) Vexation; chagrin; mortification.
- "The time is out of joint: O cursed spite." Shakespeare, Hamlet
- (transitive) To treat maliciously; to try to injure or thwart.
- She soon married again, to spite her ex-husband.
- (transitive, obsolete) To be angry at; to hate.
- The Danes, then […] pagans, spited places of religion. — Fuller.
- (transitive) To fill with spite; to offend; to vex.
- Darius, spited at the Magi, endeavoured to abolish not only their learning, but their language. — Sir. W. Temple.
Often used with the accusative or with the preposition al.