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

1a : annoy, offend
b : to fill with spite
2 : to treat maliciously (as by shaming or thwarting)

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Moon and Emotional Legacy In spite of all that Taurus energy from Dad, the baby continues to have a lot in common with Mom — and also with Harry’s late mom, the beloved Princess Diana. Jeanna Kadlec, Allure, "The Royal Baby's Birth Chart, as Interpreted by an Astrologer," 6 May 2019 Getty Images In spite of breakup rumors, longtime couple Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx are apparently going strong. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Jamie Foxx Reportedly Has an Amazing Relationship with Katie Holmes' Daughter, Suri Cruise," 7 Apr. 2019 But in spite of its prevalence, there still exists a tremendous amount of stigma associated with mental health conditions. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "Mental Health Awareness Means Talking About All Types of Mental Illness," 29 Mar. 2019 This stands to reason, seeing as how most of us are fascinated—in spite of ourselves—by that unreal city and its peculiar ways. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘True West’ Review: Family Feud via Tinseltown," 24 Jan. 2019 And the Tigers hardly did it in spite of the young Lawrence. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "How Clemson Emulated Silicon Valley to Win a National Title," 8 Jan. 2019 Harry and Meghan, on the other hand, will likely visit with her mother, Doria Ragland, who won't be joining the royals for Christmas in Sandringham, in spite of earlier reports. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince William, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle Will All Spend Christmas Together After All," 16 Dec. 2018 But in spite of Spider-Man’s successful MCU integration, Sony continued to work on many of its expanded universe ideas. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is dazzling, hilarious, and unique," 14 Dec. 2018 Paired with glossy booties instead of high heels, the look felt laid back in spite of its luxury. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet Give a Crash Course in BoHo Couple’s Style," 13 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Blocking qualified judges merely to spite Mr. Trump won’t impress GOP voters in a New Hampshire primary in 2020. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "O Come All Ye Judges," 25 Nov. 2018 Chris JacksonGetty Images Kate Middleton and Prince William have arrived for a visit to seaside town Blackpool, and to spite the dreary weather, Kate is dressed in a vibrant outfit. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Braves the Rain in an Olive Sportsmax Coat and Manu Atelier Clutch," 6 Mar. 2019 In fact, the attacker will take it one step further, and join fierce rivals Barcelona instead - simply to spite Los Blancos. SI.com, "Report Claims Mohamed Salah Has 'Decided Against' Real Madrid Move for Ridiculous Reason," 12 June 2018 Toure's damning assessment of Guardiola - who has managed him at two separate clubs - arrived alongside the Ivorian's offer to play for another top six side for only £1 per week in order to spite Guardiola. SI.com, "'I Never Saw Something Racist': De Bruyne Defends Pep Guardiola Over Yaya Toure's Anti-African Claim," 6 June 2018 But that didn’t stop these conservatives from using the farm bill vote to spite the leadership for its inaction on immigration. Philip Elliott, Time, "The House GOP Is in Chaos," 21 May 2018 Obama naively believed that the Republicans wouldn’t be willing to handicap a third of the federal government just to spite him. Jason Johnson, The Root, "It’s Been a Lousy Week in Politics, and Some of It Is Obama’s Fault," 29 June 2018 But there were real -- and valid -- concerns heading into Tuesday's primaries that the party might well cut off its nose to spite its face in the Golden State. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Trump's 'great night for Republicans' in the California primaries wasn't so great after all," 6 June 2018 Prosecutors had argued that Ms. Ortega was angry about her workload and schedule and killed the children to spite their mother. New York Times, "Yoselyn Ortega, Nanny Who Killed 2 Children, Is Sentenced to Life in Prison," 14 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spite

Statistics for spite

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spite

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spite

spite

noun

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on spite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spite

Spanish Central: Translation of spite

Nglish: Translation of spite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spite

What made you want to look up spite? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!