Ok so i said a joke to my friend saying "i hope she sends me pics just despite you", then he said "it's not, "just to despite you" you dumbass, it's spite, not despite, kill yourself", "you thought "to spite" was, "despite". I'm pretty sure they meant the same thing, but i just wanted to know if i'm wrong and why.

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    Welcome to ELL, Blake. This is the sort of question that's easily answered with a dictionary, so it's probably going to get closed (see the help center page); but I can tell you that your friend is right about spite. He is, however, almost certainly wrong about dumbass and kill yourself. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 9 '15 at 1:02
  • You can try googling spite and despite. If you are still confused about the differences, then edit your question to say what you would like clarification about. Welcome to ELL. There are lots of users who like to help clear up confusion about English usage. – kevinbatchcom Oct 9 '15 at 3:29

"Despite" is not used as a verb. It's a preposition. It means "nevertheless", or "notwithstanding".

Let's use the word in context.

Despite being a controversial show, it went on anyway.

It means that even if it was controversial, it kept running.

Another case:

He went whale hunting yet again, despite it being banned several years ago.

This means that he went whale hunting anyway even after it was banned.

"spite" means nouns "ill will", "hatred", and verbs "to treat with spite, thwart, annoy, offend".


According to http://dictionary.reference.com, "spite" means


1. a malicious, usually petty, desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person; bitter ill will; malice.

2. a particular instance of such an attitude or action; grudge.

3. Obsolete. something that causes vexation; annoyance.

verb (used with object), spited, spiting.

4. to treat with spite or malice.

5. to annoy or thwart, out of spite.

6. to fill with spite; vex; offend.

and "despite" means


1. in spite of; notwithstanding.


2. contemptuous treatment; insult.

3. malice, hatred, or spite.

verb (used with object), despited, despiting.

4. Obsolete. to anger or annoy (someone) out of spite.

I cross-checked with http://thefreedictionary.com and http://merriam-webster.com, and they all give similar definitions for both of these words. However, http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ only defines "despite" as a preposition.

So you were right about the fact that one of the meanings of "despite" is the same as "spite", but this usage of "despite" is not very common and I didn't know about it until I looked it up, despite (pun intended) learning English since kindergarten!

EDIT: Back to your example sentence:

I hope she sends me pics just despite you.

In this case "despite" is used as a verb, so there should be a "to" in front of it:

"I hope she sends me pics just to despite you."

However, as I mentioned before, this usage of "despite" is not used very often, so using "spite" would be even better:

"I hope she sends me pics just to spite you."

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    Without "to", that obsolete usage still wouldn't work, grammatically. Still, I learned a little more. (I'm a little sad "in her despite" or similar haven't shown up on this page yet.) – Nathan Tuggy Oct 9 '15 at 4:23

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