spoil

verb
\ ˈspȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce spoil (audio) \
spoiled\ ˈspȯi(-​ə)ld How to pronounce spoil (audio) , ˈspȯi(-​ə)lt \ or chiefly British spoilt\ ˈspȯi(-​ə)lt How to pronounce spoil (audio) \; spoiling

Definition of spoil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to damage seriously : ruin
b : to impair the quality or effect of a quarrel spoiled the celebration
2a : to impair the disposition or character of by overindulgence or excessive praise
b : to pamper excessively : coddle
3a : pillage, rob
b archaic : despoil, strip
4 archaic : to seize by force

intransitive verb

1 : to lose valuable or useful qualities usually as a result of decay the fruit spoiled
2 : to have an eager desire spoiling for a fight
3 : to practice plunder and robbery

spoil

noun

Definition of spoil (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : plunder taken from an enemy in war or from a victim in robbery : loot
b : something valuable or desirable gained through special effort or opportunism or in return for a favor usually used in plural
c : public offices made the property of a successful party usually used in plural
b : the act of damaging : harm, impairment
3 : an object of plundering : prey
4 : earth and rock excavated or dredged
5 : an object damaged or flawed in the making

Other Words from spoil

Verb

spoilable \ ˈspȯi-​lə-​bəl How to pronounce spoil (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for spoil

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for spoil

Verb

decay, decompose, rot, putrefy, spoil mean to undergo destructive dissolution. decay implies a slow change from a state of soundness or perfection. a decaying mansion decompose stresses a breaking down by chemical change and when applied to organic matter a corruption. the strong odor of decomposing vegetation rot is a close synonym of decompose and often connotes foulness. fruit was left to rot in warehouses putrefy implies the rotting of animal matter and offensiveness to sight and smell. corpses putrefying on the battlefield spoil applies chiefly to the decomposition of foods. keep the ham from spoiling

indulge, pamper, humor, spoil, baby, mollycoddle mean to show undue favor to a person's desires and feelings. indulge implies excessive compliance and weakness in gratifying another's or one's own desires. indulged myself with food at the slightest excuse pamper implies inordinate gratification of desire for luxury and comfort with consequent enervating effect. pampered by the amenities of modern living humor stresses a yielding to a person's moods or whims. humored him by letting him tell the story spoil stresses the injurious effects on character by indulging or pampering. foolish parents spoil their children baby suggests excessive care, attention, or solicitude. babying students by grading too easily mollycoddle suggests an excessive degree of care and attention to another's health or welfare. refused to mollycoddle her malingering son

Noun

spoil, plunder, booty, prize, loot 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 plunder applies to what is taken not only in war but in robbery, banditry, grafting, or swindling. a bootlegger's plunder booty implies plunder to be shared among confederates. thieves dividing up their booty prize applies to spoils captured on the high seas or territorial waters of the enemy. the wartime right of seizing prizes at sea loot applies especially to what is taken from victims of a catastrophe. picked through the ruins for loot

Examples of spoil in a Sentence

Verb The fight spoiled the party. The camping trip was spoiled by bad weather. Don't let one mistake spoil your day. Don't spoil your appetite by snacking too much. Exposure to air will spoil the wine. I spoiled the sauce by adding too much garlic. The milk was beginning to spoil. The hotel spoils their guests with fine dining and excellent service. She always spoils me on my birthday. You should spoil yourself with a day at the spa. Noun the bandits escaped with their lives but not with the spoils See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The reason for this is that, while washing berries cleans away any bacteria and mold spores, excess moisture, can cause bacteria or mold to grow, and the berries to spoil more quickly. Beth Branch, Country Living, 11 May 2022 As the story approaches its climax, the Avengers have been forced to decimate countless other Earths as the Multiverse has shrunk to just two Earths, and then… well, to say any more would be to spoil the story. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 May 2022 That unconditional motherly love is one of the main reasons to spoil our moms this upcoming Mother’s Day. Nel-olivia Waga, Forbes, 3 May 2022 On this opening night, there would be no plot twist to spoil the story. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 But Buxton and the Twins found a way to spoil the return. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 24 Apr. 2022 Luckily, though, there are many ways to spoil your mama beyond sending a Mother’s Day card or gift card, and many of these gift ideas are easier on your wallet than an Apple Watch—and can also be delivered straight to her door. Malia Griggs, SELF, 13 Apr. 2022 The homer, allowed by closer Gregory Soto, put the White Sox in front, 4-3, and seemed to spoil the Tigers' Opening Day following a busy offseason of free-agent additions and trade acquisitions. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 8 Apr. 2022 But beyond the adorable accessories, the best dog beds are the real way to spoil your fluff ball. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 31 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Over the years the enormous, elaborate wooden altarpiece had been hastily disassembled and transported to safety, claimed as a spoil of war, tossed aside and left to rot. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 May 2022 Not only are algae and zooplankton affected, but now apex predators such as killer whales are moving into areas once locked away by ice — gaining unfettered access to a spoil of riches. Susanne Rust, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Dec. 2021 Clouds and rain spoil today’s mild air, while tomorrow is foul as the rain persists and cold air comes barreling in. Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2022 Håkan Svedhem, co-author and former project scientist for the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, said the team must now discover what type of water is in the spoil. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 21 Dec. 2021 Not only are algae and zooplankton affected, but now apex predators such as killer whales are moving into areas once locked away by ice — gaining unfettered access to a spoil of riches. Susanne Rust, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Dec. 2021 Not only are algae and zooplankton affected, but now apex predators such as killer whales are moving into areas once locked away by ice — gaining unfettered access to a spoil of riches. Los Angeles Times, 17 Dec. 2021 A day earlier, in Herat, Taliban fighters rushed past the Great Mosque in the historic city — a structure that dates to 500 BC and was once a spoil of Alexander the Great — and seized government buildings. Katie Rice, orlandosentinel.com, 13 Aug. 2021 In Herat, Taliban fighters rushed past the Great Mosque in the historic city — a structure that dates to 500 BC and was once a spoil of Alexander the Great — and seized government buildings. Andrea RodrÍguez, ajc, 13 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spoil.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spoil

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3b

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spoil

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French espuiller, espoiller, from Latin spoliare to strip of natural covering, despoil, from spolium skin, hide — more at spill entry 1

Noun

Middle English spoile, from Anglo-French espuille, from espuiller

Learn More About spoil

Time Traveler for spoil

Time Traveler

The first known use of spoil was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near spoil

spoffish

spoil

spoilage

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Statistics for spoil

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spoil.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spoil. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spoil

spoil

verb
\ ˈspȯil How to pronounce spoil (audio) \
spoiled\ ˈspȯild \ or spoilt\ ˈspȯilt \; spoiling

Kids Definition of spoil

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to damage the character of by allowing too many things or not correcting bad behavior Grandparents sometimes spoil a child.
2 : to damage badly : ruin Frost spoiled the crop.
3 : to damage the quality or effect of A quarrel spoiled the celebration.
4 : to decay or lose freshness, value, or usefulness by being kept too long The milk spoiled.

spoil

noun

Kids Definition of spoil (Entry 2 of 2)

: stolen goods : plunder

More from Merriam-Webster on spoil

Nglish: Translation of spoil for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spoil for Arabic Speakers

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