In spite of; notwithstanding: won the game despite overwhelming odds.
1. Contemptuous defiance or disregard.
2. Spite; malice: "He died soon after ... of pure despite and vexation" (Sir Walter Scott).
[Short for in despite of, from Middle English despit, spite, from Old French, from Latin dēspectus, from past participle of dēspicere, to despise; see DESPISE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.