spoil·​age | \ ˈspȯi-lij \

Definition of spoilage

1 : the act or process of spoiling especially : the process of decay in foodstuffs
2 : something spoiled or wasted
3 : loss by spoilage

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Examples of spoilage in a Sentence

The milk should be refrigerated to prevent spoilage. in the days before refrigeration, spoilage was a constant problem

Recent Examples on the Web

Food scientists refined the recipes for many common packaged foods over decades to reduce spoilage, contamination and costs. Heather Haddon, WSJ, "Anyone for Diglycerides? Anyone? Food Scientists Are Getting Fed Up With Picky Eaters," 12 Oct. 2018 Lengthy customs checks would increase the risk of spoilage. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "May’s Brexit Plan Comes Just in Time for Supply Chains," 11 July 2018 However, the most recent reports suggest that the ballot spoilage rate is surprisingly low — in the range of 3 to 4 percent. Seth Masket, Vox, "How Colorado’s unaffiliated voted," 29 June 2018 For example, waste and spoilage consumed 30 percent of operating costs, and a supplier had quietly raised the cost of several of their staples. Janelle Nanos, BostonGlobe.com, "For more Boston restaurants, staying in business means being an open book," 8 June 2018 Given the somewhat confusing new primary system, it was widely anticipated that there’d be some ballot spoilage. Seth Masket, Vox, "How Colorado’s unaffiliated voted," 29 June 2018 Other supplemental coverage can cover food spoilage and inflation, which ensures your policy is aligned with current construction costs. Dylan Jackson, miamiherald, "Now is the time to evaluate your hurricane insurance. It isn't as simple as you think.," 18 June 2018 There were some efforts to combat the spoilage problem, and enterprising farmers tried to keep milk and cream cold by lowering them into wells. Daniel Fernandez, Smithsonian, "The Surprisingly Intolerant History of Milk," 11 May 2018 Remember that tubers can grow a foot or more from the plant, and that any nicks on their tender skins will encourage spoilage. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Perfect Sweet Potatoes In Your Backyard," 15 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spoilage.' 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 spoilage

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for spoilage

Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spoilage

The first known use of spoilage was in 1597

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More Definitions for spoilage



English Language Learners Definition of spoilage

technical : the process or result of decaying


spoil·​age | \ ˈspȯi-lij \

Kids Definition of spoilage

: the process or result of the decay of food

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More from Merriam-Webster on spoilage

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spoilage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spoilage

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spoilage

Comments on spoilage

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to express emotion in a dramatic way

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