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verb \ˈspil\

Simple Definition of spill

  • : to cause or allow (something) to fall, flow, or run over the edge of a container usually in an accidental way

  • : to fall or flow over the edge of a container

  • : to move or spread out into a wider place or area

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of spill

spilled play \ˈspild, ˈspilt\ also spilt play \ˈspilt\ spilling

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a archaic :  kill, destroyb :  to cause (blood) to be lost by wounding

  3. 2 :  to cause or allow especially accidentally or unintentionally to fall, flow, or run out so as to be lost or wasted

  4. 3a :  to relieve (a sail) from the pressure of the wind so as to reef or furl itb :  to relieve the pressure of (wind) on a sail by coming about or by adjusting the sail with lines

  5. 4 :  to throw off or out <a horse spilled him>

  6. 5 :  to let out :  divulge <spill a secret>

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1a :  to flow, run, or fall out, over, or off and become wasted, scattered, or lost <water spilling over the dam>b :  to cause or allow something to spill

  9. 2 :  to spread profusely or beyond bounds <crowds spilled into the streets>

  10. 3 :  to fall from one's place (as on a horse)

spillable play \ˈspi-lə-bəl\ adjective
spiller noun
spill one's guts
  1. :  to divulge especially personal information

spill the beans
  1. :  to divulge secret or hidden information

Examples of spill in a sentence

  1. I accidentally spilled coffee all over my new suit.

  2. Clean up the flour you spilled on the floor.

  3. a puddle of spilled water

  4. Water spilled over the dam.

  5. She opened the door and light spilled into the room.

  6. an interviewer who gets celebrities to spill their secrets

  7. Come on, spill it. Who gave you the money?

Origin of spill

Middle English, from Old English spillan; akin to Old English spildan to destroy and perhaps to Latin spolium animal skin, Greek sphallein to cause to fall

First Known Use: before 12th century




Definition of spill

  1. 1 :  the act or an instance of spilling; especially :  a fall from a horse or vehicle or an erect position

  2. 2 :  something spilled

Circa 1845

First Known Use of spill

circa 1845




Definition of spill

  1. 1 :  a wooden splinter

  2. 2 :  a small roll or twist of paper or slip of wood for lighting a fire

Origin of spill

Middle English spille; akin to Middle Low German spīle thin stick, peg

First Known Use: 14th century

SPILL Defined for Kids



verb \ˈspil\

Definition of spill for Students

spilled \ˈspild\ also spilt \ˈspilt\spilling

  1. 1 :  to cause or allow to fall, flow, or run out so as to be wasted or scattered <I knocked the glass over and spilled my milk.>

  2. 2 :  to flow or run out, over, or off and become wasted or scattered <The milk spilled.> <So I always go as far as the ford, where the river spills across the path … — Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh>

  3. 3 :  to cause (blood) to flow by wounding

  4. 4 :  to make known <I accidentally spilled the secret.>




Definition of spill for Students

  1. 1 :  an act of spilling

  2. 2 :  a fall especially from a horse or vehicle

  3. 3 :  something spilled <Please mop up the spill on the floor.>

Seen and Heard

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expressing little or no emotion

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