\ ˈspilth How to pronounce spilth (audio) \

Definition of spilth

1 : the act or an instance of spilling
2a : something spilled

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Spilth is formed from the verb "spill" and the noun suffix -th. This suffix comes to us from Old English and is used to indicate an act or process (as in "spilth" or the more familiar "growth") or a state or condition (as in "breadth" or "length"). The earliest known use of "spilth" is in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (c. 1607-08): "When our vaults have wept / With drunken spilth of wine…." In the senses of an act of spilling or of something spilled, English speakers today are much more likely to use the noun "spill" or sometimes "spillage," a word which, like "spilth," combines the verb "spill" with a suffix ("-age," this time borrowed from Old French) that can indicate an act or process.

Examples of spilth in a Sentence

factories heedlessly spewing spilth into our waterways

First Known Use of spilth

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Cite this Entry

“Spilth.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spilth. Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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