I. noun Etymology: Middle English spoile, from Anglo-French espuille, from espuiller Date: 14th century 1. a. plunder taken from an enemy in war or from a victim in robbery ; loot b. public offices made the property of a successful party — usually used in plural c. something valuable or desirable gained through special effort or opportunism or in return for a favor — usually used in plural 2. a. spoliation, plundering b. the act of damaging ; harm, impairment 3. an object of plundering ; prey 4. earth and rock excavated or dredged 5. an object damaged or flawed in the making Synonyms: spoil, plunder, booty, prize, loot mean something taken from another by force or craft. spoil more commonly spoils applies to what belongs by right or custom to the victor in war or political contest <
the spoils of political victory
. plunder applies to what is taken not only in war but in robbery, banditry, grafting, or swindling <
a bootlegger's plunder
. booty implies plunder to be shared among confederates <
thieves dividing up their booty
. prize applies to spoils captured on the high seas or territorial waters of the enemy <
the wartime right of seizing prizes at sea
. loot applies especially to what is taken from victims of a catastrophe <
picked through the ruins for loot
. II. verb (spoiled; also spoilt; spoiling) Etymology: Middle English, from espuiller, espoiller, from Latin spoliare to strip of natural covering, despoil, from spolium skin, hide — more at spill Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. archaic despoil, strip b. pillage, rob 2. archaic to seize by force 3. a. to damage seriously ; ruin b. to impair the quality or effect of <
a quarrel spoiled the celebration
4. a. to impair the disposition or character of by overindulgence or excessive praise b. to pamper excessively ; coddle intransitive verb 1. to practice plunder and robbery 2. to lose valuable or useful qualities usually as a result of decay <
the fruit spoiled
3. to have an eager desire <
spoiling for a fight
Synonyms: see decay, indulgespoilable adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spoil — (spoil), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spoiled} (spoild) or {Spoilt} (spoilt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Spoiling}.] [F. spolier, OF. espoillier, fr. L. spoliare, fr. spolium spoil. Cf. {Despoil}, {Spoliation}.] 1. To plunder; to strip by violence; to pillage; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spoil — n Spoil, plunder, booty, prize, loot, swag can mean something of value that is taken from another by force or craft. Spoil applies to the movable property of a defeated enemy, which by the custom of old time warfare belongs to the victor and of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Spoil — Spoil, n. [Cf. OF. espoille, L. spolium.] 1. That which is taken from another by violence; especially, the plunder taken from an enemy; pillage; booty. [1913 Webster] Gentle gales, Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense Native perfumes, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spoil — [ spɔıl ] verb ** ▸ 1 make worse ▸ 2 allow child everything ▸ 3 treat someone with care ▸ 4 food: become too old ▸ 5 in election ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) transitive to affect something in a way that makes it worse, less attractive, or less enjoyable:… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Spoil — (spoil), v. i. 1. To practice plunder or robbery. [1913 Webster] Outlaws, which, lurking in woods, used to break forth to rob and spoil. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To lose the valuable qualities; to be corrupted; to decay; as, fruit will soon… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spoil — c.1300, from O.Fr. espoillier to strip, plunder, from L. spoliare to strip of clothing, rob, from spolium armor stripped from an enemy, booty; originally skin stripped from a killed animal, from PIE *spol yo , perhaps from root *spel to split, to …   Etymology dictionary

  • spoil — [v1] ruin, hurt blemish, damage, debase, deface, defile, demolish, depredate, desecrate, desolate, despoil, destroy, devastate, disfigure, disgrace, harm, impair, injure, make useless, mar, mess up*, muck up*, pillage, plunder, prejudice, ravage …   New thesaurus

  • spoil — [spoil] vt. spoiled or Brit. spoilt, spoiling [ME spoilen < MFr espoillier < L spoliare, to plunder < spolium, arms taken from a defeated foe, plunder, orig., hide stripped from an animal < IE base * (s)p(h)el , to split, tear off… …   English World dictionary

  • spoil — I (impair) verb addle, blemish, blight, botch, break, bungle, butcher, corrumpere, corrupt, damage, damage irreparably, debase, decay, decompose, deface, defile, deform, demolish, destroy, deteriorate, dilapidate, disable, disfigure, go bad, harm …   Law dictionary

  • spoil — ► VERB (past and past part. spoilt (chiefly Brit. ) or spoiled) 1) diminish or destroy the value or quality of. 2) (of food) become unfit for eating. 3) harm the character of (a child) by being too indulgent. 4) treat with great or excessive… …   English terms dictionary

  • spoil — spoil1 [spɔıl] v past tense and past participle spoiled also spoilt [spɔılt] BrE ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(damage)¦ 2¦(treat too kindly)¦ 3¦(treat kindly)¦ 4¦(decay)¦ 5¦(voting)¦ 6 be spoiling for a fight/argument ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [Date: 1200 1300; …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”