de·​spite | \ di-ˈspīt How to pronounce despite (audio) \

Definition of despite

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: in spite of played despite an injury



Definition of despite (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the feeling or attitude of despising someone or something : contempt
2 : malice, spite
3a : an act showing contempt or defiance
b : detriment, disadvantage I know of no government which stands to its obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly …— Sir Winston Churchill
in despite of
: in spite of


despited; despiting

Definition of despite (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 archaic : to treat with contempt
2 obsolete : to provoke to anger : vex

Examples of despite in a Sentence

Preposition Many children are shy around strangers, of course, but Jacob's reticence is different. He suffers from a rare childhood disorder … that renders him so anxious in the company of others that he cannot, despite all his efforts, utter a single word. — Kathy Ehrich Dowd et al., People, 18 Feb. 2008 That's exactly what researchers at Texas A & M University have done with Smart Little Lena, a stallion (despite the name) famed for its cow herding skills. — Henry Nicholls, New Scientist, 1-7 Apr. 2006 Despite the thriving trade in manuscripts that occurred throughout the Greek and Roman empires, many plays, poems, and philosophical musings by writers such as Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Sophocles have been lost. Physics Today, June 2005 we went to the party despite the bad weather outside Noun pointedly ignored his false friend out of despite sheer despite was the sole reason for her hurtful comments
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition And despite her plans being waylayed, time is on her side. Anchorage Daily News, 7 May 2020 And despite the gameplay and unpredictability down the stretch, that is kind of what happened. Dalton Ross,, 7 May 2020 Amid a variety of cases of inflated prices across the United States, those focused on the humble egg are among the most sweeping, despite what at first glance appears to be a relatively modest sum. New York Times, 6 May 2020 The ad questions why the restrictions are still in place despite the state having many fewer cases of the virus than projections from the Department of Health Services estimated. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 May 2020 Through the family’s ups and downs, Copeland was a steadying presence, despite his disability. al, 6 May 2020 Los Angeles County beaches will remain closed for the time being, despite other coastal stretches reopening — with limitations — this week in nearby Orange County with the state’s blessing. Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2020 But despite the move to Dallas, Dalton is still hopeful to become a starter in NFL again one day. Joey Hayden, Dallas News, 5 May 2020 The writing, by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney (who also play the lead characters), is razor-sharp and, despite being a dark-ish romantic comedy, so original. T+l Editors, Travel + Leisure, 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Westbrook recently scored a triple-double despite shooting 7-for-27 from the floor. Bruce Jenkins,, 7 Dec. 2019 The Toon Army last beat Spurs on the final day of the 2015/16 season, when a shock 5-1 triumph - despite already being relegated - led to Arsenal snatching second place., 22 Aug. 2019 In Division II, Turpin somehow was dropped from 4th to 5th despite holding off Anderson 29-28 to remain undefeated. Scott Springer,, 21 Oct. 2019 Harris’ campaign fundraising output has stayed consistent in first quarter around $12 million and $11.8 million in second quarter despite, as first reported by Politico, shakeups among senior campaign staff. Andrew Hirschfeld, Fortune, 2 Oct. 2019 And then - despite barely stepping over the halfway line - the hosts hit the crossbar and had a shout for a penalty., 25 Aug. 2019 There is no doubt her status as a fashion designer has been achieved in part both despite and because of her Spice Girls-marinated celebrity. Vogue, 14 Aug. 2019 Irving left James and the Cavaliers in a trade with the despite to lead his own team, but his experience in Boston may have changed his perspective. Lila Bromberg, USA TODAY, 27 June 2019 However, the report goes on to suggest that the Citizens are still 'ahead' of Carlo Ancelotti's side despite, as aforementioned, the only rumours coming out of his native country., 26 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bucks 127, Kings 106: Khris Middleton had 27 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Bledsoe scored 24 and Milwaukee beat host Sacramento despite an off night for Giannis Antetokounmpo., 10 Jan. 2020 Indeed, very few countries do: despite ramping up testing in recent days, the UK remains short of its 10,000 tests per day target. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, 24 Mar. 2020 This year’s team should be remembered as a group that despite early-career adversity, put all the pieces together to become consistent, balanced and selfless. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, 13 Mar. 2020 Meanwhile in Minnesota, a Star Tribune poll finds that only 5 percent of Democrats believe accusations against DNC Vice Chair Keith Ellison despite much greater and far more detailed evidence against him. Fox News, 22 Sep. 2018 Villa Hills City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday night to allow the sale of 85 acres of now-vacant land - despite considerable opposition from many residents, Enquirer media partner Fox19 reports. Monroe Trombly,, 7 Mar. 2018 Lance Wallnau, a Christian author, claimed God spoke to him and showed him that Trump was like King Cyrus, who followed God’s will despite being a pagan. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, 23 Aug. 2017 ON TRACK’ DESPITE LOSSES Minnesota’s primary problem this season has been an inability to hold leads. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 9 Jan. 2017 Asher ready despite layoff: Right-hander Alec Asher has appeared in just two games since making his Orioles debut with a quality start April 15, pitching one inning April 23 and 26. Jon Meoli,, 1 May 2017

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for despite

Noun, Preposition, and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French despit, from Latin despectus, from despicere — see despise

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Time Traveler for despite

Time Traveler

The first known use of despite was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near despite



despite appearances

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Cite this Entry

“Despite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for despite



English Language Learners Definition of despite

: without being prevented by (something)


de·​spite | \ di-ˈspīt How to pronounce despite (audio) \

Kids Definition of despite

: in spite of The quarterback played despite an injury.

More from Merriam-Webster on despite

Nglish: Translation of despite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of despite for Arabic Speakers


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