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

This, in spite of the fact that many have their crazy-low price tags still attached. Dallas News, "Texas artist Trenton Doyle Hancock builds a world in massive exhibition space," 19 July 2019 Was Mr Trump mainly appealing to his supporters’ economic concerns—in spite of his chauvinism? The Economist, "The 2020 campaign will be more racially divisive than 2016 was," 18 July 2019 In spite of the challenges, Muschamp enters the season optimistic. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "At SEC media days, Will Muschamp says this is his best football team yet at South Carolina," 17 July 2019 In spite of the Battle of Brooklyn being the largest and bloodiest battle of the American Revolution, the Americans were completely routed. Time, "The Maryland 400 Lost a Battle But Helped Win a War. On the 4th of July, We Should Remember Their Sacrifice," 4 July 2019 And Holland continues to earn his Spidey stripes with his delicate, teenaged juggle of excited and awkward, in spite of this outing taking his character in some boring directions. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Spider-Man: Far from Home," 1 July 2019 In spite of the money the government has poured into imam hatip schools, which combine a standard education with hours of study of Islam, supply continues to outstrip demand. P.z. | Istanbul, The Economist, "In Turkey, demography is a brake on Islamisation," 1 July 2019 After the acquisition failure, Bumble claims (in this lawsuit that could be dropped) that Match filed its lawsuit challenging the IP of Bumble’s swiping features and gestures out of spite and to tarnish the app’s name. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "Bumble is slowly backing off on its $400 million lawsuit against Match Group," 2 Nov. 2018 Key witness not credible, defense says Defense lawyers throughout the case suggested that Kelly Norton only came forward with her testimony out of spite for her ex-husband. Ryan Randazzo, azcentral, "Bribery trial involving Johnson Utilities, Corporation Commission in jurors' hands," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

22 Jul 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

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!