Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[spahyt] /spaɪt/
a malicious, usually petty, desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person; bitter ill will; malice.
a particular instance of such an attitude or action; grudge.
Obsolete. something that causes vexation; annoyance.
verb (used with object), spited, spiting.
to treat with spite or malice.
to annoy or thwart, out of spite.
to fill with spite; vex; offend.
cut off one's nose to spite one's face. nose (def 23).
in spite of, in disregard or defiance of; notwithstanding; despite:
She arrived at school on time in spite of the snowstorm.
Origin of spite
1250-1300; Middle English; aphetic variant of despite
Related forms
spiteless, adjective
unspited, adjective
1. malevolence, maliciousness, rancor, venom, spleen. See grudge. 8. See notwithstanding. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for spiting
Historical Examples
  • The idea of spiting a town because there has been a row in it seems to me to be preposterous.

  • Nothing else on the river but the usual guards of spiting devil.

  • Moreover, in their present mood each of these women saw a chance of spiting another by depriving her of the job.

    Brother Copas

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • He gives his money to hospitals because the last pleasure of which he is capable is that of spiting his relations.

    The Prime Minister

    Anthony Trollope
  • In addition Dupuy, the head of the Cabinet, seemed to be spiting the new President.

  • I no longer indulged the ungracious idea of spiting her against me, and, by degrees, all my other fears were allayed.

  • Oh yes, she was spiting herself as well as Tony; but considering the circumstances the sacrifice seemed necessary.

    Jerry Jean Webster
  • It keeps their hand in; they have a pleasure in spiting those above them whenever they can do it.

    Robbery Under Arms Thomas Alexander Browne, AKA Rolf Boldrewood
  • The master was in the habit of "spiting" C——; that is to say, of taking every opportunity to be severe with him, nobody knew why.

  • Miss Burney said that 'Mr. Cumberland is notorious for hating and envying and spiting all authors in the dramatic line.'

British Dictionary definitions for spiting


maliciousness involving the desire to harm another; venomous ill will
an instance of such malice; grudge
(archaic) something that induces vexation
(preposition) in spite of, in defiance of; regardless of; notwithstanding
verb (transitive)
to annoy in order to vent spite
(archaic) to offend
Word Origin
C13: variant of despite
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for spiting



c.1300, shortened form of despit "malice" (see despite). Corresponding to Middle Dutch spijt, Middle Low German spyt, Middle Swedish spit. Commonly spelled spight c.1575-1700. The verb is attested from c.1400. Phrase in spite of is recorded from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with spiting


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for spiting

Word Value for spiting

Scrabble Words With Friends