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90s Slang You Should Know


[spahyt-fuh l] /ˈspaɪt fəl/
full of spite or malice; showing spite; malicious; malevolent; venomous:
a spiteful child.
Origin of spiteful
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50; See origin at spite, -ful
Related forms
spitefully, adverb
spitefulness, noun
unspiteful, adjective
unspitefully, adverb
vengeful, mean, cruel, rancorous. Spiteful, revengeful, vindictive refer to a desire to inflict a wrong or injury on someone, usually in return for one received. Spiteful implies a mean or malicious desire for (often petty) revenge: a spiteful attitude toward a former friend. Revengeful implies a deep, powerful, and continued intent to repay a wrong: a fierce and revengeful spirit. Vindictive does not imply action necessarily, but stresses the unforgiving nature of the avenger: a vindictive look.
benevolent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for spiteful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And since Philippina never spoke of Daniel in any but a derogatory and spiteful tone, Dorothea felt perfectly safe on that ground.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • But he was very humble, and he laid the spiteful words to heart.

    "Some Say" Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards
  • The firing had ceased save for a few sharp reports from the revolvers, like a coyote's spiteful snapping.

    Letters of a Woman Homesteader Elinore Pruitt Stewart
  • Angered by the obstruction, he gave them a spiteful kick, then passed on outward.

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • So it's not enough to be a child in your old age, you must be a spiteful child too!

    The Possessed Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Youre a spiteful beast, Nancy, and Ill never speak to you again.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • spiteful, hateful words have been spoken between us; and we have seen into each other's souls.

    Small Souls Louis Couperus
  • Now, you spiteful savage, will you give up—will you surrender?

    The Kopje Garrison George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for spiteful


full of or motivated by spite; vindictive
Derived Forms
spitefully, adverb
spitefulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spiteful

mid-15c., from spite + -ful. Related: Spitefully; spitefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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