\ 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


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)

Choose the Right Synonym for spite


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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In spite of the spinning rides, unhealthy food, suffocating crowds and no chickens, the Tanana Valley Fair was great fun. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2022 In spite of a shortage of building materials that has driven up costs, along with rising land prices and a decline in volunteer labor, Habitat for Humanity met its goal of building 51 houses in Bexar County per year in 2020 and 2021. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 6 Aug. 2022 Instead, in spite of the occasional embarrassment, the Millennial tics that remain have gone from trend to nostalgia. Kate Lindsay, The Atlantic, 6 Aug. 2022 In spite of their divorce, Kardashian often still shows her ex-husband love via social media. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 5 Aug. 2022 As a side effect of that short-term rental boom, many residences stay empty most of the year, in spite of all the residents who need a place to live. Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle, 5 Aug. 2022 Buying more tech and focusing only on operational matters is not likely to help with those where cybersecurity maturity has remained low over the past decades in spite of all investments in that space. Jc Gaillard, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 Yet the Sox still should win the AL Central in spite of themselves. Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune, 3 Aug. 2022 In spite of these setbacks and controversies, Abdul Malak said that progress was moving ahead according to a timeline established by General Jean-Louis Georgelin, the army chief overseeing Notre-Dame’s reconstruction, reports Artnet’s Anna Sansom. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Ideas just wacky enough to work have been a hallmark of brand since Ferruccio Lamborghini formed the company in 1963 to spite Enzo Ferrari, and all signs point to that trend continuing. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 28 July 2022 The Falcons have reason to want to spite Watson, though perhaps not enough talent. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 13 May 2022 Nothing gets Larry out of bed faster than a chance to spite someone: like opening up his own coffee shop next to the one that 86’d him. Mike Postalakis, SPIN, 9 June 2022 But, long term, Fisher's epic takedown might equate to cutting off his nose to spite his face. Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY, 25 May 2022 In her 2017 lawsuit, Chyna said her reality show with her ex was already underway on a second season, but claimed the family intentionally put an axe to the series to spite her. Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety, 19 Apr. 2022 Mara, Lisa and Astrid say bizarre and unsettling things, their cruelty and spite sometimes offhand, sometimes calculated. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Apr. 2022 This is, after all, the state that has refused to expand Medicaid out of stubbornness and spite. Kyle Whitmire, al, 5 Feb. 2021 No reasonable economist could ever tell America to cut off it’s nose just to spite its face. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of spite


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spite


Middle English, short for despite

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Time Traveler for spite

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

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Dictionary Entries Near spite

spit curl


spite fence

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Statistics for spite

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spite.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spite. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for spite


\ 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.


spited; spiting

Kids Definition of spite (Entry 2 of 2)

: annoy, anger He did it to spite me.

More from Merriam-Webster on spite

Nglish: Translation of spite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spite for Arabic Speakers


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