spite

noun
\ˈspīt \

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

In spite of Trump’s rhetoric, the U.S. still signed the NATO summit’s 79-point declaration, which reaffirmed the American commitment to defend all its allies and condemned Russia for a long list of crimes and transgressions. Simon Shuster/tallinn, Time, "Trump Shakes Up NATO, but Eastern European Allies Aren't Stirred," 13 July 2018 The Brewers have forged the best record in the National League to this point of the season not because of their offense but in spite of it. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Haudricourt: Brewers looking to go big with Manny Machado, who is an absolutely perfect fit," 13 July 2018 Croatia had been through extra time and penalties in their previous two games, but looked stronger than England on Wednesday night in spite of that. SI.com, "Be Humble: Modric Slams English Press for Underestimating Croatia as England Crash Out of World Cup," 12 July 2018 Here are some reasonable reasons to leave an adviser: Consistently underperforming the market, in spite of taking similar risks to the market. Peter Dunn, Indianapolis Star, "Pete the Planner: Breaking up with a financial adviser doesn't need to be painful," 11 July 2018 The meeting will be closely watched to see whether Trump will rebuke or embrace Putin, who has repeatedly denied the allegations of election meddling, in spite of evidence to the contrary. ___ Colvin reported from Washington. Jill Colvin, The Seattle Times, "Trump lands in Europe, says Putin ‘easiest’ of his meetings," 10 July 2018 The Management Group countersued, saying Depp spent lavishly on homes, private jets, art and up to $30,000 a month on wine in spite of its warnings of his dwindling finances. Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY, "Johnny Depp sued: Crew member alleges star punched him twice," 9 July 2018 Their legs were more bent rather than trunk-like, in spite of this great mass. Amina Khan, latimes.com, "These long-necked, elephant-sized dinosaurs arose long before Brachiosaurus," 9 July 2018 An exploration of the women of the LGBT movement from the 1960s to the 1990s, and the community and successes that developed in spite of the struggles. Lisa Deaderick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "What's happening in the visual art world in July," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 All this would cost $750m—a steep price just to spite a neighbour. The Economist, "Why Qatar is raising cows in the desert," 17 May 2018 Crawford was on Pepsi's board of directors at the time (her late husband, Alfred Steele, was a Pepsi executive), so Davis had a Coke machine installed in her dressing room just to spite her. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Timeline of the Real Feud Between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford," 22 Feb. 2017

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

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 \

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

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

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!