1. Notwithstanding, despite, in spite of imply that something is true even though there are obstacles or opposing conditions. The three expressions may be used practically interchangeably. Notwithstanding suggests, however, a hindrance of some kind: Notwithstanding the long delay, I shall still go. Despite indicates that there is an active opposition: Despite procrastination and disorganization, they finished the project. In spite of implies meeting strong opposing forces or circumstances that must be taken into account: She succeeded in spite of many discouragements.