[ spahyt-fuhl ]
/ ˈspaɪt fəl /


full of spite or malice; showing spite; malicious; malevolent; venomous: a spiteful child.

Origin of spiteful

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at spite, -ful


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.

Related forms

spite·ful·ly, adverbspite·ful·ness, nounun·spite·ful, adjectiveun·spite·ful·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spiteful

British Dictionary definitions for spiteful


/ (ˈspaɪtfʊl) /


full of or motivated by spite; vindictive

Derived Forms

spitefully, adverbspitefulness, 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