spite

noun
\ ˈspīt How to pronounce spite (audio) \

Definition of spite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : petty ill will or hatred with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart
2 : an instance of spite
in spite of
: in defiance or contempt of : without being prevented by succeeded in spite of their opposition

spite

verb
spited; spiting

Definition of spite (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

b : to fill with spite
2 : to treat maliciously (as by shaming or thwarting)

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Choose the Right Synonym for spite

Noun

malice, malevolence, ill will, spite, malignity, spleen, grudge mean the desire to see another experience pain, injury, or distress. malice implies a deep-seated often unexplainable desire to see another suffer. felt no malice toward their former enemies malevolence suggests a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct. a look of dark malevolence ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration. ill will provoked by a careless remark spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments. petty insults inspired by spite malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness. a life consumed by motiveless malignity spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice. venting his spleen against politicians grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction. never one to harbor a grudge

Examples of spite in a Sentence

Noun He is jealous and full of spite. spread cruel lies out of pure spite Verb He only did it to spite me. sometimes, I swear, she keeps doing that just to spite me
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But in spite of these setbacks, the global polio program’s adaptability may actually have a silver lining for the current pandemic. Peter Schwartzstein, Scientific American, "Coronavirus Pandemic Threatens to Derail Polio Eradication—but There’s a Silver Lining," 22 May 2020 Director Brad Bird, who hosts this season alongside TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, points to the numerous errors in Casablanca while breaking down why the film is still an absolute classic in spite of such flubs. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "All the continuity errors in Casablanca we never noticed before — and why it's still essential viewing," 22 May 2020 Union leaders and worker advocates have argued that maintaining production in spite of the outbreaks will lead to more infections. Isis Almeida, BostonGlobe.com, "Meat companies get pressure from investors to improve working conditions," 22 May 2020 In spite of all this, regions of the US are reopening parts of their economy (including those that still have rising cases). Popular Science, "The coronavirus doesn’t care about your long weekend plans.," 22 May 2020 Another theme that drives service members and health care workers in spite of the risk to themselves is the knowledge that others are depending on them. Zachary Johannesson, STAT, "Lessons from the military on how to balance caring for patients against the risk of personal harm," 20 May 2020 But the city is humming back to life — not really in spite of those reminders so much as alongside them, writes our correspondent. Isabella Kwai, New York Times, "Coronavirus Inquiry, E.U. Fund, Cyclone Amphan: Your Wednesday Briefing," 20 May 2020 Cuomo recently reversed a March 25 order that forced nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for coronavirus in spite of testing deficiencies for both residents and staff. Fox News, "MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle slammed for 'softball interview' with Cuomo amid nursing home controversy," 19 May 2020 In spite of the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendation to wear a cloth face mask in public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, tensions over the subject have reached a breaking point in some places. Tony Bravo, SFChronicle.com, "Mask the rage: How to talk to people who don’t wear face coverings," 16 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Some people lock lips just to spite their fellow contestants. Judy Berman, Time, "Too Hot to Handle," 16 Apr. 2020 By the end of the episode, Catherine is leaving the Fox-Weber home and plotting to buy Richard’s new medical home, PacNorth, just to spite him. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "Grey’s Anatomy," 7 Feb. 2020 The governor of New Hampshire appears determined to cut off his constituents’ noses to spite their faces. Yvonne Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "A triumph of short-termism in New Hampshire," 11 Jan. 2020 The pure anhedonic cheerlessness of it all points back to a deeper psychic deficit: an inability to understand what any of this might even be for, if not to spite or defeat someone else. David Roth, The New Republic, "A Unified Theory of the Trumps’ Creepy Aesthetic," 19 Dec. 2019 Endgame is likely to hold the new record for a while, unless Cameron re-releases Avatar prior to its 2021 sequel purely to spite the Marvel franchise. Adam Epstein, Quartzy, "“Avengers: Endgame” is now the biggest movie ever. But that’s still not as impressive as what “Avatar” did," 22 July 2019 His threat was seen as a measure to spite local Jews. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, "In Eastern Europe, Holocaust museums are missing from key historical sites," 30 July 2019 There have been rumors—denied by Team Boris—that Johnson, who was far ahead, had directed some of his supporters to vote for Hunt, just to spite Gove. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "Here Comes Boris Johnson!," 21 June 2019 But before the Victoria Memorial Hall had even been completed, in 1921, the prince—by then King George V—had moved the capital of British India from Calcutta to Delhi to spite the city’s vocal nationalists. Maya Jasanoff, The New York Review of Books, "Lost Calcutta," 23 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spite.' 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 spite

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spite

Noun

Middle English, short for despite

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Time Traveler for spite

Time Traveler

The first known use of spite was in the 14th century

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Statistics for spite

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spite. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for spite

spite

noun
How to pronounce spite (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a desire to harm, anger, or defeat another person especially because you feel that you have been treated wrongly in some way

spite

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spite (Entry 2 of 2)

: to deliberately annoy, upset, or hurt (someone)

spite

noun
\ ˈspīt How to pronounce spite (audio) \

Kids Definition of spite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: dislike or hatred for another person with a wish to torment, anger, or defeat
in spite of
: without being prevented by The club failed in spite of our efforts.

spite

verb
spited; spiting

Kids Definition of spite (Entry 2 of 2)

: annoy, anger He did it to spite me.

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More from Merriam-Webster on spite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spite

Spanish Central: Translation of spite

Nglish: Translation of spite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spite

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