Definition for SPITE

SPITE, n. [D. spyt, spite, vexation; Ir. spid. The Fr. has depit, Norm. despite. The It. dispetto, and Sp. despecho, seem to be from the L. despectus; but spite seems to be from a different root.]

Hatred; rancor; malice; malignity; malevolence. – Johnson. Spite, however, is not always synonymous with these words. It often denotes a less deliberate and fixed hatred than malice and malignity, and is often a sudden fit of ill will excited by temporary vexation. It is the effect of extreme irritation, and is accompanied with a desire of revenge, or at least a desire to vex the object of ill will. Be gone, ye critics, and restrain your spite; / Codrus writes on, and will for ever write. – Pope. In spite of, in opposition to all efforts; defiance or contempt of. Sometimes spite of is used without in, but not elegantly. It is often used without expressing any malignity of meaning. Whom God made use of to speak a word in season, 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. To owe one a spite, to entertain a temporary hatred for something.

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