Definition of Spoil

1. Noun. (usually plural) valuables taken by violence (especially in war). "To the victor belong the spoils of the enemy"

Language type: Plural, Plural Form
Generic synonyms: Stolen Property

2. Verb. Make a mess of, destroy or ruin. "The pianist screwed up the difficult passage in the second movement"

3. Noun. The act of spoiling something by causing damage to it. "Her spoiling my dress was deliberate"
Exact synonyms: Spoilage, Spoiling
Generic synonyms: Injury

4. Verb. Become unfit for consumption or use. "The meat must be eaten before it spoils"
Exact synonyms: Go Bad
Specialized synonyms: Addle, Curdle
Generic synonyms: Decay
Derivative terms: Spoilage, Spoiling

5. Noun. The act of stripping and taking by force.

6. Verb. Alter from the original.
Exact synonyms: Corrupt
Generic synonyms: Modify
Specialized synonyms: Adulterate, Debase, Dilute, Load, Stretch
Derivative terms: Spoliation

7. Verb. Treat with excessive indulgence. "Let's not mollycoddle our students!"

8. Verb. Hinder or prevent (the efforts, plans, or desires) of. "Sam cannot spoil Sue "; "Foil your opponent"

9. Verb. Have a strong desire or urge to do something. "He is spoiling for a fight"
Exact synonyms: Itch
Generic synonyms: Desire, Want
Derivative terms: Itch

10. Verb. Destroy and strip of its possession. "They want to spoil the prisoners "; "The soldiers raped the beautiful country"
Exact synonyms: Despoil, Plunder, Rape, Violate
Generic synonyms: Destroy, Ruin
Derivative terms: Despoilment, Despoliation, Plundering, Rape, Spoilation, Spoliation

11. Verb. Make imperfect. "Nothing marred her beauty"
Exact synonyms: Deflower, Impair, Mar, Vitiate
Generic synonyms: Damage
Specialized synonyms: Cloud, Corrupt, Defile, Sully, Taint, Blemish, Deface, Disfigure
Derivative terms: Defloration, Impairer, Impairment, Mar

Definition of Spoil

1. v. t. To plunder; to strip by violence; to pillage; to rob; -- with of before the name of the thing taken; as, to spoil one of his goods or possession.

2. v. i. To practice plunder or robbery.

3. n. That which is taken from another by violence; especially, the plunder taken from an enemy; pillage; booty.

Definition of Spoil

1. Verb. (transitive archaic) To strip (someone who has been killed or defeated) of their arms or armour. (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

2. Verb. (transitive archaic) To strip or deprive (someone) of their possessions; to rob, despoil. (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

3. Verb. (transitive archaic) To plunder, pillage (a city, country etc.). (defdate from 14th c.) ¹

4. Verb. (transitive, obsolete) To carry off (goods) by force; to steal. (defdate 14th-19th c.) ¹

5. Verb. (transitive) To ruin; to damage (something) in some way making it unfit for use. (defdate from 16th c.) ¹

6. Verb. (transitive) To ruin the character of, by overindulgence; to coddle or pamper to excess. (defdate from 17th c.) ¹

7. Verb. (intransitive) Of food, to become bad, sour or rancid; to decay. (defdate from 17th c.) ¹

8. Verb. (transitive) To render (a ballot paper) invalid by deliberately defacing it. (defdate from 19th c.) ¹

9. Verb. (transitive) To reveal the ending of (a story etc.); to ruin (a surprise) by exposing it ahead of time. ¹

10. Noun. (Also in plural: '''spoils''') Plunder taken from an enemy or victim. ¹

11. Noun. Material (such as rock or earth) removed in the course of an excavation, or in mining or dredging. Tailings. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Spoil

1. to impair the value or quality of [v SPOILED or SPOILT, SPOILING, SPOILS]

Medical Definition of Spoil

1. 1. That which is taken from another by violence; especially, the plunder taken from an enemy; pillage; booty. "Gentle gales, Fanning their odouriferous wings, dispense Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole Those balmy spoils." (Milton) 2. Public offices and their emoluments regarded as the peculiar property of a successful party or faction, to be bestowed for its own advantage; commonly in the plural; as to the victor belong the spoils. "From a principle of gratitude I adhered to the coalition; my vote was counted in the day of battle, but I was overlooked in the division of the spoil." (Gibbon) 3. That which is gained by strength or effort. "each science and each art his spoil." (Bentley) 4. The act or practice of plundering; robbery; aste. "The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treason, stratagems, and spoil." (Shak) 5. Corruption; cause of corruption. "Villainous company hath been the spoil of me." (Shak) 6. The slough, or cast skin, of a serpent or other animal. Spoil bank, a bank formed by the earth taken from an excavation, as of a canal. The spoils system, the theory or practice of regarding public and their emoluments as so much plunder to be distributed among their active partisans by those who are chosen to responsible offices of administration. Origin: Cf. OF. Espoille, L. Spolium. 1. To practice plunder or robbery. "Outlaws, which, lurking in woods, used to break forth to rob and spoil." (Spenser) 2. To lose the valuable qualities; to be corrupted; to decay; as, fruit will soon spoil in warm weather. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Spoil Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Spoil

spoil (current term)
spoil five
spoil heap
spoil the ship for a hap'orth of tar
spoiled brat
spoiled brats

Literary usage of Spoil

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Supreme Court Reporter by Robert Desty, United States Supreme Court, West Publishing Company (1914)
"It specifically made the place of dumping the spoil an essential and ... It may be that it desired the spoil to be retained at a place outside of the ..."

2. The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by American Committee of Revision (1881)
"man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is ... 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise the strong man, and spoil his goods, ..."

3. A Dictionary of the English Language: In which the Words are Deduced from Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson (1805)
"To wander in search of spoil, generally of provisions. These things may serve for to represent how just cause of tear this kingdom may ..."

4. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon, William Smith (1862)
"An order of Division of rapine was instituted; nor was the share of each individual the spoil. abandoned to industry or chance. ..."

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