Definition of spite in US English:

spite

noun

  • 1A desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone.

    ‘he'd think I was saying it out of spite’
    • ‘Mrs Cunningham gave me a calculating look over my sketchpad that was filled with spite and dislike.’
    • ‘Those of a pure heart who would never hurt anyone in sheer spite.’
    • ‘It was the kind of thing which really hurt her reputation and it was done for spite.’
    • ‘It has a wider meaning than spite, ill will or a spirit of vengeance.’
    • ‘He was too angry and full of spite towards the goddess for them not to be true.’
    • ‘I imagine Andrew Sullivan's mailbox is full of just such spite as much for his Catholicism and for being gay.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In truth, he seems to be more motivated and inspired by bitterness and spite than ever.’
    • ‘Malice is commonly understood, in the popular sense as spite or ill-will.’
    • ‘Cheating, boasting, malice and spite - my sons are blessedly free from all of these.’
    • ‘You may be a victim of malice, spite and slander as friends and associates indulge in negative gossip.’
    • ‘Keating deserves every bit of spite and venom directed his way.’
    • ‘It means that we are subjects of jealousy and envy and malice and spite and hatred.’
    • ‘The Thrale mother-daughter relationship is full of spite and recrimination.’
    • ‘Everyone preaches love, but then why is there so much hate and spite in this beautiful world?’
    • ‘Clara said the last word with as much spite and disgust as she could conjure.’
    • ‘What I can tell you is that neither malice nor spite appears to be a motivating factor in any of their maneuvers.’
    • ‘It encourages spite and malice, and suggests that the Church of England has sex on the brain.’
    • ‘They displayed their immaturity, their envy and spite and malice, in refusing to condemn this act of terrorism.’
    • ‘It would have been easier if she left him with harsh words and eyes full of spite and loathing.’
    malice, maliciousness, ill will, ill feeling, spitefulness, bitterness, animosity, hostility, antagonism, enmity, resentment, resentfulness, rancour, malevolence, venom, spleen, gall, malignance, malignity, evil intentions, envy, hate, hatred, vengeance, vengefulness, vindictiveness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic An instance of a desire to hurt; a grudge.
      ‘it seemed as if the wind had a spite at her’
      • ‘Leeds showed character, spirit and not a little spite to claw themselves back into the match.’
      • ‘The banality of grey, prison like walls high-rising above their heads was a spite to their very faces.’

verb

[with object]
  • Deliberately hurt, annoy, or offend (someone)

    ‘he put the house up for sale to spite his family’
    • ‘It's further spiting me today by giving me some horrendous bowel cramps and spectacular diarrhoea.’
    • ‘Referees spited him for his nonstop lip-flapping and lack of decorum.’
    • ‘It felt as if it had been yesterday that he had spited her the same way.’
    • ‘However when she didn't do it, he became even more angry and decided to keep walking to spite her.’
    • ‘She must know that is my job and so is doing it to spite me.’
    • ‘She couldn't care less for Charles Hamilton and did it only to spite Ashley.’
    • ‘She hadn't known what had become of her beloved mother, but she had to hope Benjamin was just spiting her.’
    • ‘Smoking is much more dangerous than eating genetically modified organisms, therefore they must just be doing it to spite the Americans.’
    • ‘I guess I thought I was spiting Kim by leaving her favourite shoes there but all that resulted were dirty feet and a piece of glass lodged in my toe.’
    • ‘You're clearly far more interested in spiting this man than in considering the defense needs of the country.’
    • ‘I am going to be incredibly self-indulgent that day and light one hundred candles just to spite you.’
    • ‘It would be an enormous compliment to Barry if the government now went to all the trouble of choosing a different date just to spite him.’
    • ‘But with just one day to go, fate spites me with a deluge and I shall drive to work draped in towels and with a cap on my head.’
    • ‘It was becoming a bad habit of mine, spiting him.’
    • ‘Unless people are petty enough to not vote for Shayne to spite Louis, he'll be safe.’
    • ‘It was on my third or fourth circuit of the city centre that I decided they'd hidden Bristol Temple Meads railway station, just to spite me.’
    • ‘Luke has never done anything to hurt me or spite me, to anger me or make me regret myself.’
    • ‘Yeah, because Henry wonders whether people would like his dad to spite him.’
    • ‘She wanted to stay but was already running late for lunch and did not want to embarrass herself on account of spiting her father.’
    • ‘The answer appears to be that he hates Frank Lautenburg so much that he will cost his party the election to spite him.’
    upset, hurt, wound, distress, injure
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • in spite of

    • Without being affected by the particular factor mentioned.

      ‘he was suddenly cold in spite of the sun’
      • ‘Leila had known it was a good idea to get a gardener, in spite of what others said.’
      • ‘Anyhow, it was a good day, in spite of the cold, which is turning bitter and nasty.’
      • ‘So Melchizedek is very important in spite of the fact that he is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament.’
      • ‘For Stella, it is arguable that success has come in spite of, rather than because of, her father.’
      • ‘Brave Jack managed to get hold of her arms and, in spite of once losing his grip, pull her to safety.’
      • ‘Their rationality is what keeps them alive in spite of not knowing what to do or what not to do.’
      • ‘It was totally sold out, packed to the gills in spite of the cold and rainy weather.’
      • ‘It helps me to do that too, to keep on my own journey, in spite of everything that happens in a life.’
      • ‘They know me and my faults and love me either in spite of or because of them.’
      • ‘This has happened in spite of most banks suffering from a drop in operating margins.’
      • ‘I'm still tired in spite of my rest day and early night, although my sleep was disturbed.’
      • ‘Today we have more elderly women than men in spite of the low nutrition the former receive.’
      • ‘The deputy chief added that in spite of the recent snowfall, the ground is very dry.’
      • ‘Sandy Lane is also likely to be included in an amended Thornton ward, in spite of opposition to the plans.’
      • ‘He was, in spite of all his genius and accomplishment, a troubled man seeking his own truth.’
      • ‘He loves doing it and considers it an honour in spite of not having much free time.’
      • ‘Anyway, my big problem was that, in spite of all this, they still carried my name.’
      • ‘Byrne says he was not unfit when he came home, in spite of what was felt amongst the public.’
      • ‘I began to feel a little better, in spite of everything, and my headache started to fade.’
      • ‘They both did every time they woke up next to each other, aware of what they had done in spite of how drunk they had been.’
      despite, notwithstanding, regardless of, for all
      View synonyms
  • in spite of oneself

    • Although one did not want or expect to do so.

      ‘Oliver smiled in spite of himself’
      • ‘I watched him and Drake battle for the last piece of pumpkin pie, and smiled in spite of myself as I sat down.’
      • ‘I asked, finally beginning to smile in spite of myself.’
      • ‘Ian held his clenched fist up, and smiled in spite of himself.’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself, because I knew that that had been me just a few short years earlier.’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself and looked up into his eyes.’
      • ‘And he flashed her a grateful smile in spite of himself.’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself, and somehow I doubted my teammate knew how much that really meant to me.’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself and he laughed and asked, ‘What?’’
      • ‘Her voice suggested that she lost things like this all the time, and I smiled a bit in spite of myself.’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself until I heard someone down in the commons for study hall.’
      • ‘Coen smiled in spite of himself and his fear about the soap.’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself and got some juice for Rachel and I and then I sat down at the table.’
      • ‘Cam shot me a look, and I smiled in spite of myself, shaking my head and murmuring, ‘Stupid question.’’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself, and was glad that so many good people were willing to come along and help me.’
      • ‘I smiled in spite of myself, to see him waiting patiently for my arrival.’
      • ‘Tanis smiled in spite of himself when he saw a balcony above lined with dancing females in various states of undress; some were close to being topless altogether.’
      • ‘Almost smiling in spite of himself, Ian looked at Grant again.’
      • ‘William smiled in spite of himself and gave chase.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The sight of the wardrobe in the corner caused me to smile in spite of myself.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

spite

/spīt//spaɪt/