in spite of
From Middle English.
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- (idiomatic) Despite, irrespective of, notwithstanding.
- 1898, James, Henry, The Turn of the Screw, Courier Dover Publications, published 1991, →ISBN, page 72:
- No evening I had passed at Bly had the portentous quality of this one; in spite of which—and in spite also of the deeper depths of consternation that had opened beneath my feet—there was literally, in the ebbing actual, an extraordinarily sweet sadness.
- In spite of is at once three words and one preposition; as may be seen in the 1898 quotation above, it is not separated during preposition-stranding (hence “in spite of which […] ”, never *“of which […] in spite”), but it may sometimes be separated by an adverb (as in “in spite also of”).
- The phrase is often misused where regardless of would be appropriate.