Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[spahyt-fuh l] /ˈspaɪt fəl/
full of spite or malice; showing spite; malicious; malevolent; venomous:
a spiteful child.
Origin of spiteful
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see spite, -ful
Related forms
spitefully, adverb
spitefulness, noun
unspiteful, adjective
unspitefully, adverb
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.
benevolent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for spitefulness
Historical Examples
  • But then Elizabeth could usually rise superior to any spitefulness that Amanda might display.

    The Ordeal of Elizabeth Elizabeth Von Arnim
  • These seemed only to augment the mirth and spitefulness of his tormentors.

    The Boy Slaves Mayne Reid
  • Indeed, there were times when her suspicion and spitefulness were more than I could endure.

  • Foma did not expect this, and all his boldness and spitefulness suddenly left him.

    Foma Gordyeff Maxim Gorky
  • But the little boy didn't mind Mee-ko's scolding; he only laughed at him for his bad temper and spitefulness.

  • And if he ever met with ingratitude or spitefulness, he ignored it and dismissed it from his mind.

    Albert Ballin Bernhard Huldermann
  • "The world," said Caspar Brooke, quite quietly: he did not choose to see the spitefulness.

    Brooke's Daughter Adeline Sergeant
  • Neither his mother nor the baron noticed his attitude of spitefulness.

    The Burning Secret Stefan Zweig
  • "It was like his spitefulness to tie them so tight," he whimpered.

    The Vinland Champions Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • Its spitefulness was directed entirely toward Marjorie herself.

British Dictionary definitions for spitefulness


full of or motivated by spite; vindictive
Derived Forms
spitefully, adverb
spitefulness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for spitefulness



mid-15c., from spite + -ful. Related: Spitefully; spitefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for spiteful

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for spitefulness

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for spitefulness