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 In spite of a new National Guard established to fight crime, last year was Mexico’s deadliest year since modern record-keeping began. Rebecca Janzen, The Conversation, "Mormons in Mexico: A brief history of polygamy, cartel violence and faith," 6 Nov. 2019 That seems fitting, since, in spite of modern touches, the circus itself retains a sense of a show business lineage that stretches back to the 1800s. Cindy Dampier, chicagotribune.com, "‘Inside the tent, it’s one big party.’ Meet the UniverSoul Circus performers who’ve been wowing Chicago for generations," 5 Nov. 2019 This was in spite of the challenges in gaining internet access. Payal Arora, Quartz, "The biggest myths about the next billion internet users," 5 Nov. 2019 In fact, Trump won the presidential election in spite of the allegations. NBC News, "This journalist wasn't afraid to face Harvey Weinstein, even when he showed up at the door," 5 Nov. 2019 Any future fall in emissions will happen in spite of Trump’s policies—which have sought to restore the high-polluting coal industry, reduce fuel efficiency standards and open vast new swathes of land to oil and gas drilling. Justin Worland, Time, "Trump's Paris Agreement Move Is Unpopular. Here's How He's Trying to Spin It," 5 Nov. 2019 In spite of their astronomical rise, Claire and Emma remain genuine, good-hearted people who understand that success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, "How the Alaskan Wilderness Shaped the Salmon Sisters," 1 Nov. 2019 But in spite of this concern, business leaders are not providing the kinds of learning opportunities employees crave, and workplace learning and development initiatives are not keeping up with the needs of today’s businesses. Marc Zao-sanders, Quartz at Work, "Can the dreaded compliance meeting save our workforce from a mental-health crisis?," 1 Nov. 2019 In spite of our challenging beginnings, my family worked to build its own American dream. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, "How Trump’s Supporters Distort Alexander Vindman’s Very American Origin Story," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 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

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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Statistics for spite

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for spite

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

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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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not being in agreement or harmony

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