despite

preposition
de·​spite | \di-ˈspīt \

Definition of despite 

(Entry 1 of 3)

: in spite of played despite an injury

despite

noun

Definition of despite (Entry 2 of 3)

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

2 : malice, spite

3a : 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

: in spite of

despite

verb
despited; despiting

Definition of despite (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 archaic : to treat with contempt

2 obsolete : to provoke to anger : vex

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Examples of despite in a Sentence

Preposition

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 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 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 we went to the party despite the bad weather outside

Noun

pointedly ignored his false friend out of despite sheer despite was the sole reason for her hurtful comments
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

And despite this very obvious truth and the fact that excessive screen time has been linked to exacerbating just about every mental and physical health condition that besets us, smartphone addiction is a stark reality for many—if not most. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why an Old-School Alarm Clock—Not a Smartphone—Is the Secret to a Better Night’s Sleep," 10 Nov. 2018 The tailwind carried the plane through Greenland and Scandinavian airspace, allowing the airbus to reach the tarmac just 11 minutes behind schedule, despite the meandering route. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "A Turkish Airlines Flight Flew an Extra 800 Miles and Still Landed on Time," 23 Oct. 2018 Future research can examine universes with different strengths of the strong nuclear force, the strongest known force between particles, which binds protons together in atomic nuclei, despite their mutual repulsion, Howe said. Charles Q. Choi, Space.com, "Why Alternate Universes Might Also Host Life Around their Stars," 26 Sep. 2018 And some, like me, end up buying property here despite the fact that (or because) this globally renowned cultural mecca consists of a single stoplight, a few dusty streets, and a hodgepodge of mostly unassuming architecture. Rima Suqi, ELLE Decor, "How an Abandoned Texas Home Is Restored Into an Ethereal Country Getaway," 20 Sep. 2018 Rondon, despite years of being dubbed the Tigers’ closer-in-waiting, never put it together. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "Future tense? Tigers' Futures Game players haven't often panned out," 14 July 2018 The Wall Street Journal reported that Deutsche Bank, despite the legal wrangling, did not lose money on the Chicago deal. Salvador Rizzo, chicagotribune.com, "There is an unfounded conspiracy theory about the Supreme Court and Trump Tower Chicago," 14 July 2018 Lexington Market and its many vendors opened for business early Saturday morning, despite Friday’s closing after an online video went viral of a rat scurrying over cakes and cookies at Buttercup Bakery. Brittany Britto, baltimoresun.com, "Lexington Market reopens after rat incident as customers seek pastry favorites," 14 July 2018 Progressive Democrats have vowed to unseat the I.D.C., despite a pledge by the group, announced in April by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, to dissolve, rejoin the main body of Senate Democrats and end its alliance with Republicans. New York Times, "John Liu Plots a Comeback Trail, Targeting a Renegade Democrat," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Karius made two glaring mistakes during the 3-1 defeat to Madrid in Kiev on Saturday which ultimately cost Liverpool the trophy - despite also making several good stops during the match. SI.com, "Man Utd Legend Slams Loris Karius After UCL Final Nightmare & Urges Liverpool to Sign New Goalkeeper," 28 May 2018 Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan still believes that a top four Premier League finish is possible for the Gunners to achieve this season - despite currently being eight points adrift in sixth place with only 11 games left to play. SI.com, "Henrikh Mkhitaryan Still Chasing 'Possible' Top 4 Premier League Finish Ahead of Europa League Win," 23 Feb. 2018 Chelsea are confident that record signing Alvaro Morata will be ready to return to action for the club's trip to Crystal Palace after the international break - despite concerns over a hamstring injury that forced him off against Manchester City. SI.com, "Chelsea Confident That Alvaro Morata Will Recover in Time to Play in Upcoming Crystal Palace Clash," 2 Oct. 2017 Ohio State’s win in Norman last season was likely the clinching argument that earned the Buckeyes their Playoff ticket to the despite not winning their division. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Week 2 games that have most impact on College Football Playoff," 8 Sep. 2017 Johnson, who trailed Pieters by a stroke after the second round, had birdies on 1, 5, 6 and 8 and finished with a 33 despite bogeys on No. 7 and 9. Branson Wright, cleveland.com, "Thomas Pieters, Zach Johnson share third-round lead at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational 2017 (photos)," 5 Aug. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Meanwhile in Minnesota, a Star Tribune poll finds that only 5 percent of Democrats believe accusations against DNC Vice Chair Keith Ellison despite much greater and far more detailed evidence against him. Fox News, "New developments in Tucker's Google investigation; Dean Cain on Hollywood rallying behind Kavanaugh's accuser," 22 Sep. 2018 Villa Hills City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday night to allow the sale of 85 acres of now-vacant land - despite considerable opposition from many residents, Enquirer media partner Fox19 reports. Monroe Trombly, Cincinnati.com, "Villa Hills City Council approves sale of land for controversial development," 7 Mar. 2018 Lance Wallnau, a Christian author, claimed God spoke to him and showed him that Trump was like King Cyrus, who followed God’s will despite being a pagan. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "‘Raised up by God’: Televangelist Paula White compares Trump to Queen Esther," 23 Aug. 2017 ON TRACK’ DESPITE LOSSES Minnesota’s primary problem this season has been an inability to hold leads. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Timberwolves get easy shots thanks to ‘Miami’ set," 9 Jan. 2017 Asher ready despite layoff: Right-hander Alec Asher has appeared in just two games since making his Orioles debut with a quality start April 15, pitching one inning April 23 and 26. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles notes: Closer Zach Britton expects to be activated Tuesday; Asher ready for start Tuesday," 1 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of despite

Preposition

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for despite

Preposition

see despite entry 2

Noun

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

Verb

see despite entry 2

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Statistics for despite

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for despite

The first known use of despite was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for despite

despite

preposition

English Language Learners Definition of despite

: without being prevented by (something)

despite

preposition
de·​spite | \di-ˈspīt \

Kids Definition of despite

: in spite of The quarterback played despite an injury.

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More from Merriam-Webster on despite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with despite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for despite

Spanish Central: Translation of despite

Nglish: Translation of despite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of despite for Arabic Speakers

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