noun, often attributive
spill·​over | \ ˈspil-ˌō-vər How to pronounce spillover (audio) \

Definition of spillover

1 : the act or an instance of spilling over
2 : a quantity that spills over
3 : an extension of something especially when an excess exists benefiting from a spillover of prosperity from neighboring states

Examples of spillover in a Sentence

Put a pan under the pie to catch any spillovers. New technology has a positive spillover effect into countless fields.
Recent Examples on the Web Critics have questioned whether restricting car traffic to one lane in each direction will decrease safety, cause major back-ups and force spillover onto nearby thoroughfares such as Lexington Parkway. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "New video illustrates potential Greenway extension from Ayd Mill Road to Mississippi River railroad bridge," 12 Sep. 2019 There’s spillover to fashion and symbolically anything that has to do with a summer mind-set. Dana Goodyear, The New Yorker, "Rosé Berries Have Arrived," 11 Aug. 2019 But there’s spillover from neighboring Hyde Park, home to the private University of Chicago, where only 30% of the residents are black and 23% are poor. Sophia Tareen, BostonGlobe.com, "Obama library brings elation but also fear of displacement," 4 Aug. 2019 The states said the Colorado law had spillover effects, taxing neighboring states’ criminal justice systems and hurting the health of their residents. Adam Liptak, BostonGlobe.com, "Arizona files novel lawsuit in Supreme Court over opioid crisis," 31 July 2019 The states said the Colorado law had spillover effects, taxing neighboring states’ criminal justice systems and hurting the health of their residents. Adam Liptak, New York Times, "Arizona Files Novel Lawsuit in Supreme Court Over Opioid Crisis," 31 July 2019 In China, for example, where Facebook does not conduct business, central bankers on Monday released a list of concerns about Libra’s global systemic risks and potential spillover effects, according to Bloomberg. Gregory Barber, WIRED, "The Fed Chair Says Facebook's Libra Raises 'Serious Concerns'," 10 July 2019 Others filled a second-floor spillover room in the courthouse to watch a video feed of the hearing. oregonlive.com, "Federal appeals court hears ‘climate change kids’ case," 4 June 2019 However, Aguirre and his wife Susanne recently did consider moving out because of spillover from bars and clubs on the rowdy St. Mary’s strip. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "Property values near the Pearl have exploded in the past five years," 22 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spillover.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spillover

1940, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for spillover

Last Updated

20 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for spillover

The first known use of spillover was in 1940

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More Definitions for spillover


How to pronounce spillover (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spillover

: something that flows out of or spreads beyond a container, space, area, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on spillover

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spillover

Nglish: Translation of spillover for Spanish Speakers

Comments on spillover

What made you want to look up spillover? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread as a report or rumor

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