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 The 57 degrees was mainly spillover warmth from Thursday. Washington Post, "The records say Christmas was warm. Funny, it didn’t feel that way.," 26 Dec. 2020 Each archived sample can be used to identify the wildlife sources of a disease, monitor changes in disease prevalence and distribution over time, and identify environmental variables that may lead to spillover into people. Popular Science, "How fossil preservation and public health are intertwined," 18 Dec. 2020 Worse, the unexpectedly high volatility in the repo market caused a relatively modest spillover to the fed funds market, according to FSOC. Matt Egan, CNN, "Trump's Wall Street watchdogs leave a warning for the Biden team," 7 Dec. 2020 Mink are the only animals known to have passed the coronavirus to humans, except for the initial spillover event from an unknown species. James Gorman, New York Times, "Covid Infections in Animals Prompt Scientific Concern," 8 Nov. 2020 Cantrell is also concerned with spillover outside the stadium. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Why the New Orleans Mayor Went to Battle Over Fans at NFL Games," 22 Oct. 2020 The stock has a broad, hand-filling fore-end and a vertical grip with a palm swell, a spillover from Seekins' background as a competitive long-range shooter. John B. Snow, Field & Stream, "10 Modern Classic Deer Hunting Rifles," 1 Oct. 2020 Writing in the journal Science, the group said spending $9.6 billion a year on global forest protection schemes could lead to a 40% reduction in global deforestation in areas at the highest risk of virus spillover. Sam Kiley, CNN, "In the Congo rainforest, the doctor who discovered Ebola warns of deadly viruses yet to come," 22 Dec. 2020 Campus outbreaks have fueled tensions in college towns and cities across the country, from San Diego to Morgantown, W.Va., even though there is little evidence so far of spillover into local populations. Washington Post, "Live updates: Trump says he will quarantine after White House aide Hope Hicks tests positive for coronavirus," 2 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for spillover

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The first known use of spillover was in 1940

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Statistics for spillover

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spillover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spillover. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of spillover for Spanish Speakers

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