spo·​li·​a·​tion | \ ˌspō-lē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce spoliation (audio) \

Definition of spoliation

1a : the act of plundering
b : the state of having been plundered especially in war
2 : the act of injuring especially beyond reclaim

Examples of spoliation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The suit accuses Gladney of assault, battery, false imprisonment and spoliation of evidence. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, 30 July 2021 On Wednesday, the auditors' Twitter account alleged Maricopa County deleted a directory full of election databases before the election equipment was delivered to the audit, claiming spoliation of evidence. Carrie Watters, The Arizona Republic, 16 May 2021 And now Bryant’s attorneys want more time to substantiate Bryant’s allegation that Villanueva’s actions constitute evidence spoliation instead of an attempt to keep the photos out of public circulation. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, 12 May 2021 Attorneys working for Daugherty discovered that in 2018 and sought to charge the hospital with spoliation of evidence. al, 23 Mar. 2021 The spoliation of evidence claim is related to a box of police overtime audit records that vanished within the department in 2018, court records show. Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Enquirer, 18 Sep. 2020 The judge also has allowed claims to proceed of retaliation, conspiracy of retaliation and spoliation of evidence against the city, former and current city and police officials. Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Enquirer, 18 Sep. 2020 Once that point is reached, countries reforest, another sign that economic advance does not have to mean environmental spoliation. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, 8 June 2018 Parties that engage in such spoliation are more vulnerable to losing accompanying lawsuits. Michael Mccann, SI.com, 7 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spoliation

Middle English, from Anglo-French spoliacion, Latin spoliation-, spoliatio, from spoliare to plunder — more at spoil entry 1

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The first known use of spoliation was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

20 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spoliation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spoliation. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for spoliation


spo·​li·​a·​tion | \ ˌspō-lē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce spoliation (audio) \

Legal Definition of spoliation

1 : the destruction, alteration, or mutilation of evidence especially by a party for whom the evidence is damaging
2 : alteration or mutilation of an instrument (as a will) by one who is not a party to the instrument


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