Definition of despite preposition from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

        

    despite

     preposition
    preposition
    BrE BrE//dɪˈspaɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈspaɪt//
     
     
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  1. 1  used to show that something happened or is true although something else might have happened to prevent it synonym in spite of Her voice was shaking despite all her efforts to control it. Despite applying for hundreds of jobs, he is still out of work. She was good at physics despite the fact that she found it boring. Language BankhoweverWays of saying ‘but’ Politicians have promised to improve road safety. So far, however, little has been achieved. Despite clear evidence from road safety studies, no new measures have been introduced. Politicians have promised to improve road safety. In spite of this/Despite this, little has been achieved so far. Although politicians have promised to improve road safety, little has been achieved so far. Some politicians claim that the new transport policy has been a success. In fact, it has been a total disaster. Government campaigns have had a measure of success, but the fact remains that large numbers of accidents are still caused by careless drivers.
  2. 2despite yourself used to show that somebody did not intend to do the thing mentioned synonym in spite of He had to laugh despite himself.
  3. Word Origin Middle English (originally used as a noun meaning ‘contempt, scorn’ in the phrase in despite of): from Old French despit, from Latin despectus ‘looking down on’, past participle (used as a noun) of despicere, from de- ‘down’ + specere ‘look at’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: despite