spoil·​age | \ ˈspȯi-lij How to pronounce spoilage (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

With those spoilage microorganisms gone, fruit shelf life increases by 25 percent. Virginia Gewin, Washington Post, "Produce growers get new ammunition in the battle against outbreaks," 22 July 2019 The measures needed to prevent spoilage require extra packaging and can create more waste for the environment. Dorothy Dworkin, sun-sentinel.com, "On a cooking strike | Opinion," 25 July 2019 Your tolerance for spoilage likely varies depending on the food. Washington Post, "‘Sell By’ or what? US pushes for clarity on expiration dates," 6 June 2019 Modern food and beverage containers help reduce food spoilage and waste. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis," 12 Dec. 2018 Aromas of barnyard or sweaty saddle can indicate the presence of brettanomyces, a spoilage yeast that, at low concentrations, is considered a desirable, stylistic trait in certain wines. Stephanie Miskew, Fox News, "3 ways to tell if a bottle of wine is bad and what to do about it," 10 Oct. 2016 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of spoilage

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spoilage

Statistics for spoilage

Last Updated

14 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spoilage

The first known use of spoilage was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spoilage



English Language Learners Definition of spoilage

technical : the process or result of decaying


spoil·​age | \ ˈspȯi-lij How to pronounce spoilage (audio) \

Kids Definition of spoilage

: the process or result of the decay of food

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!