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

Most Read Local Stories In spite of increasingly dire finances, the board decided against selling any assets, according to board minutes acquired by The Seattle Times. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019 In spite of this pristine 112-mile-long mountain refuge, the fish that have returned here to reproduce and then die for countless generations are in deep trouble. Jim Robbins, New York Times, "How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone? ‘Maybe 20 Years’," 16 Sep. 2019 In spite of the pushback, the Amsterdam Museum is moving forward with its plans to make its halls more inclusive and more sensitive. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Why the Amsterdam Museum Will No Longer Use the Term ‘Dutch Golden Age’," 16 Sep. 2019 In spite of that, the school manages to be competitive across several sports. Andrew Turner, Daily Pilot, "High School Female Athlete of the Week: Piper Naess powers Laguna Beach volleyball up the CIF poll," 13 Sep. 2019 The sun rises and sets on Adam, in spite of failure after failure. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Enabling mom creates extreme family imbalance," 12 Sep. 2019 The sun rises and sets on Adam, in spite of failure after failure. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, "Ask Amy: Enabling mom creates extreme family imbalance," 12 Sep. 2019 In spite of the standoff with Iran, oil prices have stumbled in recent months due to concerns about weak demand for energy driven by the US-China trade war and global economic slowdown. Matt Egan, CNN, "John Bolton was fired, and the price of oil instantly fell," 10 Sep. 2019 International revenue growth occurred in spite of a negative foreign exchange hit of $23 million caused by the strong dollar overseas, the organization said. Marc Schneider, Billboard, "BMI Keeps Record Streak Going With 7% Jumps in Revenue, Payouts," 9 Sep. 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.

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

30 Sep 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 be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!