spite·​ful | \ ˈspīt-fəl How to pronounce spiteful (audio) \

Definition of spiteful

: filled with or showing spite : malicious

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Other Words from spiteful

spitefully \ ˈspīt-​fə-​lē How to pronounce spitefully (audio) \ adverb
spitefulness noun

Examples of spiteful in a Sentence

the gossip would utter the most vicious things with a spiteful smile

Recent Examples on the Web

This has had an adverse effect for him as the spiteful trolls are attacking him for his kindness. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Zayn's "Aunt" Defends Him After Twitter Blasts Him for Asking Fans to Donate to Her Cancer Treatment," 3 May 2017 This status gives the village its own mayor, water supply and an architectural review board that has been criticized for being arbitrary, if not spiteful. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "Shelter Island, N.Y.: A Paradise That Has Its Challenges," 16 May 2018 Some former Sire artists remember him as a capricious and spiteful boss, collecting bands purely to deny other labels, then withholding promotion. Wesley Stace, WSJ, "‘Siren Song’ Review: An Ear for What Was Next," 14 June 2018 Anyone who has worked the red carpet for years will be inoculated against the spiteful tabloid comments about a glimpse of cellulite, or a stray gray hair. Daisy Goodwin, Time, "How Meghan Markle Is Giving the Royal Family the Shake-Up It Needs," 17 May 2018 There's nothing spiteful about the delay, Forrester said; the permitting process simply took longer than hoped. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "She spent her teens in a Garden City trailer. Now she tears trailers down to build anew. | Idaho Statesman," 14 May 2018 Burgess veers chaotically from being sympathetically washed up at 30 to a fragile and spiteful viper. Jim Rutter, Philly.com, "'Mrs. Harrison' at the Azuka Theatre: Power and promise, here, now, everywhere," 9 May 2018 Would something happen to poor, sweet Hannah (Jordana Blake), June’s daughter and a favorite bargaining chip of the extraordinarily spiteful Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski)? refinery29.com, "A Handmaid's Tale Star Takes Us Inside That Cringeworthy Baby Shower," 9 May 2018 That's the spiteful meme most are trying to fight against. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Vegan man ridiculed online after publicly shaming woman for buying child ice cream," 29 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spiteful.' 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 spiteful

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of spiteful was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for spiteful



English Language Learners Definition of spiteful

: having or showing a desire to harm, anger, or defeat someone : having or showing spite


spite·​ful | \ ˈspīt-fəl How to pronounce spiteful (audio) \

Kids Definition of spiteful

: filled with or showing spite : malicious

Other Words from spiteful

spitefully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on spiteful

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spiteful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spiteful

Spanish Central: Translation of spiteful

Nglish: Translation of spiteful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spiteful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spiteful

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


a strong desire or propensity

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