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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
despite/in spite of sb’s misgivings
▪ Despite his misgivings, he decided to support the proposal.
▪ They wanted to peck you all over, out of sheer spite.
▪ Or were they keeping me here out of sheer spite?
cut off your nose to spite your face
▪ If you love him, ask him to stay. Otherwise you'll be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
▪ Gerald's feelings of injustice turned to bitterness and spite.
▪ Ignore what Martin says. It's pure spite.
▪ She quit college and worked as a waitress out of spite towards her parents.
▪ Agelong Hindu cruelty to his unhappy brethren filled Ambedkar with anger and spite.
▪ Biblical movies usually wind up epic in scope in spite of every effort to keep them small.
▪ In spite of his other fencing skills, Richie had never quite mastered the post hammer.
▪ In spite of the furor the codicil caused, life went on much as before.
▪ In spite of the vote for Clinton in 1992, it is that second personality that has been in the ascendant recently.
▪ Sometimes the pirates would sink a boat out of spite for wasting their time.
▪ This is not to say that spite, malice or dishonesty may not exist; they clearly can.
▪ Now he's asking to keep the dog just to spite his ex-wife.
▪ He lives just to get back in office to spite the people.
▪ Pretty belonged in this country to spite La Bruja.
▪ To spite me, Edusha talked of him continually.
▪ We can be cutting off our noses to spite our faces if dealers aren't making enough money to carry on.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spite \Spite\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spited; p. pr. & vb. n. Spiting.]

  1. To be angry at; to hate. [Obs.]

    The Danes, then . . . pagans, spited places of religion.

  2. To treat maliciously; to try to injure or thwart.

  3. To fill with spite; to offend; to vex. [R.]

    Darius, spited at the Magi, endeavored to abolish not only their learning, but their language.
    --Sir. W. Temple.


Spite \Spite\, n. [Abbreviated fr. despite.]

  1. Ill-will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; petty malice; grudge; rancor; despite.

    This is the deadly spite that angers.

  2. Vexation; chargrin; mortification. [R.]

    In spite of, or Spite of, in opposition to all efforts of; in defiance or contempt of; notwithstanding. ``Continuing, spite of pain, to use a knee after it had been slightly injured.''
    --H. Spenser. ``And saved me in spite of the world, the devil, and myself.''
    --South. ``In spite of all applications, the patient grew worse every day.''
    --Arbuthnot. See Syn. under Notwithstanding.

    To owe one a spite, to entertain a mean hatred for him.

    Syn: Pique, rancor; malevolence; grudge.

    Usage: Spite, Malice. Malice has more reference to the disposition, and spite to the manifestation of it in words and actions. It is, therefore, meaner than malice, thought not always more criminal. `` Malice . . . is more frequently employed to express the dispositions of inferior minds to execute every purpose of mischief within the more limited circle of their abilities.''
    --Cogan. ``Consider eke, that spite availeth naught.''
    --Wyatt. See Pique.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1300, shortened form of despit "malice" (see despite). Corresponding to Middle Dutch spijt, Middle Low German spyt, Middle Swedish spit. In 17c. commonly spelled spight. Phrase in spite of is recorded from c.1400, literally "in defiance or contempt of," hence "notwithstanding." Spite-fence "barrier erected to cause annoyance" is from 1889.


c.1400, "dislike, regard with ill will," from spite (n.). Meaning "treat maliciously" is from 1590s (as in "cut off (one's) nose to spite (one's) face"); earlier "fill with vexation, offend" (1560s). Related: Spited; spiting.


Etymology 1 n. 1 ill will or hatred toward another, accompanied with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart; a desire to vex or injure; petty malice; grudge; rancor. 2 (context obsolete English) vexation; chagrin; mortification. vb. 1 (context transitive English) To treat maliciously; to try to injure or thwart. 2 (context transitive obsolete English) To be angry at; to hate. 3 (context transitive English) To fill with spite; to offend; to vex. Etymology 2

prep. notwithstanding; despite.

  1. n. feeling a need to see others suffer [syn: malice, maliciousness, spitefulness, venom]

  2. malevolence by virtue of being malicious or spiteful or nasty [syn: cattiness, bitchiness, spitefulness, nastiness]

  3. v. hurt the feelings of; "She hurt me when she did not include me among her guests"; "This remark really bruised me ego" [syn: hurt, wound, injure, bruise, offend]

Spite (disambiguation)

Spite may refer to:

  • Spite (sentiment)
  • Spite, a phenomenon in fair division economics problems
  • Spite (punk band), a hardcore punk band from Michigan
Spite (punk band)

The Hardcore punk rock band, Spite, was an essential musical hub in the Michigan hardcore scene. It was made up of members from other notable bands, who branched out to play an essential role in the musical community, both inside and outside the region. Also vocalist Scott Boman became a libertarian politician and media personality. At present, Spite’s effect on music is evident in that it continues to be imitated by artists from a variety of genres.


In fair division problems, spite is a phenomenon that occurs when a player's value of an allocation decreases when one or more other players' valuation increases. Thus, other things being equal, a player exhibiting spite will prefer an allocation in which other players receive less than more (if more of the good is desirable).

In this language, spite is difficult to analyze because one has to assess two sets of preferences. For example, in the divide and choose method, a spiteful player would have to make a trade-off between depriving his opponent of cake, and getting more himself.

Within the field of social evolution, spite is used to describe those social behaviors that have a negative impact on both the actor and recipient(s). Spite can be favored by kin selection when: (a) it leads to an indirect benefit to some third party that is sufficiently related to the actor (Wilsonian spite); or (b) when it is directed primarily at negatively related individuals ( Hamiltonian spite). Negative relatedness occurs when two individuals are less related than average.

Spite (sentiment)

To spite is to intentionally annoy, hurt, or upset. Spiteful words or actions are delivered in such a way that it is clear that the person is delivering them just to annoy, hurt, or upset. When the intent to annoy, hurt, or upset is shown subtly, behavior is considered catty.

The Underground Man, in Fyodor Dostoevsky's novella Notes from Underground, is an example of spite. His motivation remains constantly spiteful, undercutting his own existence and ability to live.

In his 1929 examination of emotional disturbances, Psychology and Morals: An Analysis of Character, J. A. Hadfield uses deliberately spiteful acts to illustrate the difference between disposition and sentiment.

Usage examples of "spite".

Roosevelt in a position, in spite of the enormous amount of work which must rest upon him in his own country, to recognize of his own accord all these inner spiritual and mental impressions of other peoples and their governments?

In spite of the public calamity Nero continued to give games for the amusement of the populace, other rich men followed his example, and the sports of the amphitheatre were carried on on an even more extensive scale than before.

Somerled, who knows all about such things, said no, it was far from right artistically, though beautiful in spite of faults.

The frequent vomiting made it impossible to administer remedies by the stomach, and, in spite of hypodermic injections and external application of analeptics, the boy died fifty hours after operation.

He had little notion of what a magician was about, in spite of the night spent with Kulgan weeks ago, but he readily knew what Craftmasters were like, and none would have thought to inquire whether or not an apprentice agreed with his plans.

The sigh was enough to make Benj chuckle in spite of his worry, a reaction which was shard my Seumas McDevitt, who had just come down from the weather lab.

In spite of a great momentary appearance of frankness and a lively relish of any conjunction of agreeable circumstances exerting a pressure to which one could respond, Bernard had really little taste for giving himself up, and he never did so without very soon wishing to take himself back.

She said this so naturally that in spite of a certain theory that was touched upon a few pages back, Bernard was a good deal bewildered.

Gordon, in spite of his announcement that he had a good deal to say, confined himself at first to superficial allusions, and Bernard after a while had the satisfaction of perceiving that he was not likely, for the moment, to strike the note of conjugal discord.

Cairo, while he waited for his dragoman to give the signal for starting, he found time, in spite of the exactions of that large correspondence which has been more than once mentioned in the course of our narrative, to write Bernard the longest letter he had ever addressed to him.

In spite of her promise to meet Conrig, no one had yet laid eyes on her, nor had she bespoken either alchymist since giving notice that the gates to Holt Mallburn were open to the Cathran army.

In spite of his unalluring appearance Bland could not help being slightly amused by the memory.

Yet, in spite of this intimacy, I continued to look upon it as my bounden duty to keep the Nechludoffs in general, and Varenika in particular, in ignorance of my true feelings and tastes, and strove always to appear altogether another young man than what I really was--to appear, indeed, such a young man as could never possibly have existed.

In spite of a change of costume Brat recognised him as the rider of the stone lion at the gates of Clare.

In spite of this sort of feeling, which was more worthy of an illhumoured philosopher than the head of a government, Bonaparte was neither malignant nor vindictive.