One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In spite of, notwithstanding; notwithstanding the power of. Now archaic.
with object To defy, oppose; to get the better of, master; †to show ill will to (obsolete).
Middle English (in an earlier sense). From Anglo-Norman mau gré, maugré, Old French maugré, mal gré, malgré from mal bad, evil + gré. The prepositional use followed by possessive pronoun is probably after Anglo-Norman maugré sun, maugré vostre, etc.; Anglo-Norman also had maugré les denz de. The prepositional development has a parallel in in despite of. The phrase bongre maugre is after Anglo-Norman bon gré u mal gré, Middle French bon gré, mal gré<br>late 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Beard (c1568–1632), Church of England clergyman and author. From Middle French maugréer from maugré.
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