Definition of despite in English:



  • Without being affected by; in spite of:

    ‘he remains a great leader despite age and infirmity’
    • ‘Thanks to the deserted roads I was there in half an hour, despite a wrong turning somewhere along the way.’
    • ‘Yet the hype shows little sign of abating, despite the slowdown affecting capital markets.’
    • ‘Hence, very few workers will be affected by this decision, despite all the media publicity!’
    • ‘We are in a city ravaged by war where the menfolk rally round a new leader despite their misgivings.’
    • ‘She had a short dark hair cut framing a face that remained impish despite her age.’
    • ‘Yet, despite the upheavals of the modern age, they bring the book to a close on an optimistic note.’
    • ‘I for one have been unable, despite many attempts, to see a dentist for nearly 3 years.’
    • ‘Somehow, any mention of this film passed me by, despite its critical acclaim.’
    • ‘Yet despite it affecting so many, these women are often failed by the health service.’
    • ‘Is someone providing these children with cigarettes and alcohol despite their age?’
    • ‘He'd been turned away from the bar on suspicion of being under age despite being 28.’
    • ‘Douglas is a very affectionate cat now and despite his suffering still sees humans as his friends.’
    • ‘However, despite these examinations a fracture in his foot allegedly went undetected.’
    • ‘Well, I did go out on New Year's Eve after all, despite having a horrible headache.’
    • ‘A great thinker and leader, you have a great deal of power despite being really poor.’
    • ‘I've never really been one for graphs and charts, despite being a bit of a maths geek.’
    • ‘A court was told that despite his age the boy admitted stealing cash to pay for his drug habit.’
    • ‘We waited for more than half an hour to be seated despite having made a reservation far in advance.’
    • ‘He is languid, conceited, a natural leader of men despite his subordinate rank.’
    • ‘He's certainly going to try, despite the escalating violence that threatens to engulf him.’
    in spite of, notwithstanding, regardless of, in defiance of, without being affected by, in the face of, for all, even with, undeterred by
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  • 1Contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage:

    ‘the despite done by him to the holy relics’
    • ‘If his arms were victorious, Charlemagne vowed to himself that he would hang Ogier on the field, for still the despite done him by Godfrey rankled in his heart.’
    • ‘The excommunication which he pronounced against his erring nephews was probably occasioned as much by the political grievances of his family as by righteous indignation at the despite done to the Council.’
    • ‘When news was brought to King James of the despite done to his authority by the defeat and slaughter of his representative in Dumfriesshire, he was much incensed.’
  • 2Contempt; disdain:

    ‘the theatre only earns my despite’
    • ‘The despite in which he is now held among the nation is legendary.’
    • ‘He has earned my despite. I simply don't care.’
    contempt, scorn, scornfulness, contemptuousness, derision, disrespect
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Middle English (originally used as a noun meaning ‘contempt, scorn’ in the phrase in despite of): from Old French despit, from Latin despectus looking down on, past participle (used as a noun) of despicere (see despise).