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noun de·spite \di-ˈspīt\

Definition of despite

  1. 1 :  the feeling or attitude of despising someone or something :  contempt

  2. 2 :  malice, spite

  3. 3 a :  an act showing contempt or defiance b :  detriment, disadvantage <I know of no government which stands to its obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly — Sir Winston Churchill>

in despite of

  1. :  in spite of

Examples of despite in a sentence

  1. <pointedly ignored his false friend out of despite>

  2. <sheer despite was the sole reason for her hurtful comments>

Origin and Etymology of despite

Middle English, from Anglo-French despit, from Latin despectus, from despicere (see despise)

First Known Use: 13th century

Rhymes with despite

affright, air right, airtight, albite, Albright, alight, all right, all-night, a mite, aright, backbite, backlight, bauxite, bedight, birthright, black light, bleed white, bobwhite, bombsight, box kite, calcite, campsite, catfight, cockfight, contrite, cordite, Cushite, daylight, deadlight, delight, dendrite, dogfight, downlight, downright, droplight, dust mite, earthlight, excite, eyebright, eyesight, fanlight, felsite, ferrite, finite, fire blight, firefight, firelight, first night, fistfight, flashlight, fleabite, floodlight, foresight, forthright, fortnight, freewrite, frostbite, Gadite, gall mite, gaslight, gastight, ghostwrite, goethite, graphite, green light, gummite, gunfight, half-light, halite, Hamite, handwrite, headlight, highlight, hindsight, Hittite, homesite, hoplite, Hussite, ignite, illite, infight, in-flight, incite, indict, indite, insight, in sight, invite, jacklight, jadeite, key light, lamplight, late blight, leucite, Levite, lighttight, lignite, limelight, lintwhite, lowlight, Lucite, Luddite, lyddite, marmite, Melchite, Memphite, midnight, millwright, moonlight, New Right, night-light, nitrite, off-site, off-white, on sight, on-site, outright, outsight, partite, peep sight, penlight, perlite, playwright, polite, preflight, prizefight, pyrite, quartzite, ratite, recite, red light, red-light, requite, respite, rewrite, rushlight, rust mite, safelight, samite, searchlight, Semite, Servite, Shemite, Shiite, shipwright, sidelight, sit tight, skintight, skylight, skywrite, slant height, smectite, snakebite, snow-white, sound bite, spaceflight, spotlight, stage fright, starlight, sternite, sticktight, stoplight, streetlight, stylite, sulfite, sunlight, Sunnite, taillight, termite, thermite, tonight, torchlight, trothplight, Twelfth Night, twilight, twi-night, typewrite, unite, unsight, upright, uptight, wainwright, watch night, wax light, Web site, weeknight, wheelwright, white flight, white knight, x-height, zinc white



verb de·spite \di-ˈspīt\

Definition of despite



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  to treat with contempt

  3. 2 obsolete :  to provoke to anger :  vex

Origin and Etymology of despite

(see 1despite)

First Known Use: 14th century



preposition de·spite \di-ˈspīt\

Simple Definition of despite

  • : without being prevented by (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of despite

  1. :  in spite of <played despite an injury>

Examples of despite in a sentence

  1. Many children are shy around strangers, of course, but Jacob's reticence is different. He suffers from a rare childhood disorder … that renders him so anxious in the company of others that he cannot, despite all his efforts, utter a single word. —Kathy Ehrich Dowd et al., People, 18 Feb. 2008

  2. That's exactly what researchers at Texas A & M University have done with Smart Little Lena, a stallion (despite the name) famed for its cow herding skills. —Henry Nicholls, New Scientist, 1-7 Apr. 2006

  3. Despite the thriving trade in manuscripts that occurred throughout the Greek and Roman empires, many plays, poems, and philosophical musings by writers such as Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Sophocles have been lost. —Physics Today, June 2005

  4. <we went to the party despite the bad weather outside>

Origin and Etymology of despite

(see 1despite)

First Known Use: 15th century

DESPITE Defined for Kids


preposition de·spite \di-ˈspīt\

Definition of despite for Students

  1. :  in spite of <The quarterback played despite an injury.>

Seen and Heard

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to take off or remove

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