spill

verb
\ ˈspil How to pronounce spill (audio) \
spilled\ ˈspild How to pronounce spill (audio) , ˈspilt How to pronounce spill (audio) \ also spilt\ ˈspilt How to pronounce spill (audio) \; spilling

Definition of spill

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cause or allow especially accidentally or unintentionally to fall, flow, or run out so as to be lost or wasted
2a : to cause (blood) to be lost by wounding
b archaic : kill, destroy
3 : to let out : divulge spill a secret
4a : to relieve (a sail) from the pressure of the wind so as to reef or furl it
b : to relieve the pressure of (wind) on a sail by coming about or by adjusting the sail with lines
5 : to throw off or out a horse spilled him

intransitive verb

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
2 : to spread profusely or beyond bounds crowds spilled into the streets
3 : to fall from one's place (as on a horse)
spill one's guts
: to divulge especially personal information
spill the beans
: to divulge secret or hidden information

spill

noun (1)

Definition of spill (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the act or an instance of spilling especially : a fall from a horse or vehicle or an erect position
2 : something spilled

spill

noun (2)

Definition of spill (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a wooden splinter
2 : a small roll or twist of paper or slip of wood for lighting a fire

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Other Words from spill

Verb

spillable \ ˈspi-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce spill (audio) \ adjective
spiller noun

Examples of spill in a Sentence

Verb I accidentally spilled coffee all over my new suit. Clean up the flour you spilled on the floor. a puddle of spilled water Water spilled over the dam. She opened the door and light spilled into the room. an interviewer who gets celebrities to spill their secrets Come on, spill it. Who gave you the money?
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First Known Use of spill

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2b

Noun (1)

circa 1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spill

Verb

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

Noun (2)

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

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Time Traveler for spill

Time Traveler

The first known use of spill was before the 12th century

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Statistics for spill

Cite this Entry

“Spill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spill. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for spill

spill

verb

English Language Learners 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

spill

verb
\ ˈspil How to pronounce spill (audio) \
spilled\ ˈspild \ also spilt\ ˈspilt \; spilling

Kids Definition of spill

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 : 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 : to cause (blood) to flow by wounding
4 : to make known I accidentally spilled the secret.

spill

noun

Kids Definition of spill (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of spilling
2 : a fall especially from a horse or vehicle
3 : something spilled Please mop up the spill on the floor.

More from Merriam-Webster on spill

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spill

Nglish: Translation of spill for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spill for Arabic Speakers

Comments on spill

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