spoil 1 of 2

as in loot
valuables stolen or taken by force the bandits escaped with their lives but not with the spoils

Synonyms & Similar Words

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spoil

2 of 2

verb

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How does the noun spoil differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of spoil are booty, loot, plunder, prize, and spoils. While all these words mean "something taken from another by force or craft," spoil, more commonly spoils, applies to what belongs by right or custom to the victor in war or political contest.

the spoils of political victory

When would booty be a good substitute for spoil?

Although the words booty and spoil have much in common, booty implies plunder to be shared among confederates.

thieves dividing up their booty

When is it sensible to use loot instead of spoil?

The words loot and spoil are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, loot applies especially to what is taken from victims of a catastrophe.

picked through the ruins for loot

When is plunder a more appropriate choice than spoil?

The synonyms plunder and spoil are sometimes interchangeable, but plunder applies to what is taken not only in war but in robbery, banditry, grafting, or swindling.

a bootlegger's plunder

In what contexts can prize take the place of spoil?

While in some cases nearly identical to spoil, prize applies to spoils captured on the high seas or territorial waters of the enemy.

the wartime right of seizing prizes at sea

Thesaurus Entries Near spoil

Cite this Entry

“Spoil.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/spoil. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

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