Definition of spite in English:

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Pronunciation: /spīt/


1A desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone: he’d think I was saying it out of spite
More example sentences
  • Those of a pure heart who would never hurt anyone in sheer spite.
  • He hoped she grew out of her hatefulness one day, and hoped that there was a good reason why she was so full of malice and spite.
  • It means that we are subjects of jealousy and envy and malice and spite and hatred.
malice, malevolence, ill will, vindictiveness, vengefulness, revenge, malignity, evil intentions, animus, enmity
informal bitchiness, cattiness
literary maleficence
1.1 archaic An instance of a desire to hurt; a grudge: it seemed as if the wind had a spite at her
More example sentences
  • The banality of grey, prison like walls high-rising above their heads was a spite to their very faces.
  • Leeds showed character, spirit and not a little spite to claw themselves back into the match.


[with object]
Deliberately hurt, annoy, or offend (someone): he put the house up for sale to spite his family
More example sentences
  • You're clearly far more interested in spiting this man than in considering the defense needs of the country.
  • It's further spiting me today by giving me some horrendous bowel cramps and spectacular diarrhoea.
  • It was becoming a bad habit of mine, spiting him.
upset, hurt, make miserable, grieve, distress, wound, pain, torment, injure



in spite of

Without being affected by the particular factor mentioned: he was suddenly cold in spite of the sun
More example sentences
  • For Stella, it is arguable that success has come in spite of, rather than because of, her father.
  • It was totally sold out, packed to the gills in spite of the cold and rainy weather.
  • Anyhow, it was a good day, in spite of the cold, which is turning bitter and nasty.
despite, notwithstanding, regardless of, for all;
undeterred by, in defiance of, in the face of;
even though, although

in spite of oneself

Although one did not want or expect to do so: Oliver smiled in spite of himself
More example sentences
  • As they rolled through the park, the grand dames of the ton smiled in spite of themselves at the sight of the big, strong, stoic duke patiently answering the questions of the two small children.
  • I smiled in spite of myself and he laughed and asked, ‘What?’
  • Cam shot me a look, and I smiled in spite of myself, shaking my head and murmuring, ‘Stupid question.’


Middle English: shortening of Old French despit 'contempt', despiter 'show contempt for'.

  • despise from Middle English:

    Despise comes via Old French despit from Latin despicere, from de- ‘down’ and specere ‘look at’. Despicable ‘deserving to be despised’ (mid 16th century) comes from the same root, while spite (Middle English) is a shortening of the French.

Words that rhyme with spite

affright, alight, alright, aright, bedight, bight, bite, blight, bright, byte, cite, dight, Dwight, excite, fight, flight, fright, goodnight, height, ignite, impolite, indict, indite, invite, kite, knight, light, lite, might, mite, night, nite, outfight, outright, plight, polite, quite, right, rite, sight, site, skintight, skite, sleight, slight, smite, Snow-white, sprite, tight, tonight, trite, twite, underwrite, unite, uptight, white, wight, wright, write

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: spite

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