spoils 1 of 2

plural of spoil
as in loots
valuables stolen or taken by force the bandits escaped with their lives but not with the spoils

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 2


present tense third-person singular of spoil

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun spoils differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of spoils are booty, loot, plunder, prize, and spoil. 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 can booty be used instead of spoils?

In some situations, the words booty and spoils are roughly equivalent. However, booty implies plunder to be shared among confederates.

thieves dividing up their booty

When is it sensible to use loot instead of spoils?

While the synonyms loot and spoils are close in meaning, loot applies especially to what is taken from victims of a catastrophe.

picked through the ruins for loot

In what contexts can plunder take the place of spoils?

Although the words plunder and spoils have much in common, plunder applies to what is taken not only in war but in robbery, banditry, grafting, or swindling.

a bootlegger's plunder

When might prize be a better fit than spoils?

The meanings of prize and spoils largely overlap; however, 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 spoils

Cite this Entry

“Spoils.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/spoils. Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

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