- The definition of spoil is to destroy something, to diminish the character of something, to overindulge someone, or to go bad and become unusable or inedible.
- An example of spoil is when you ruin someone's cake.
- An example of spoil is when you prevent someone from having a good time.
- An example of spoil is when you over indulge a child, especially to the point that the child's character is weakened and he becomes a brat.
- An example of spoil is when food goes rotten.
transitive verbspoiled or Brit.spoilt, spoiling
- to damage or injure in such a way as to make useless, valueless, etc.; destroy
- to mar or impair the enjoyment, quality, or functioning of: rain spoiled the picnic
- to overindulge so as to cause to demand or expect too much
- to strip (a person) of goods, money, etc. by force
- to rob; pillage; plunder
- to seize (goods) by force
Origin of spoilMiddle English spoilen ; from Middle French espoillier ; from Classical Latin spoliare, to plunder ; from spolium, arms taken from a defeated foe, plunder, origin, originally , hide stripped from an animal ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)p(h)el-, to split, tear off from source spall, spill
- to be damaged or injured in such a way as to become useless, valueless, etc.; specif., to decay, as food
- Archaic to pillage; plunder
- goods, territory, etc. taken by force in war; plunder; loot; booty
- ☆ public offices to which the successful political party has the power of appointment
- an object of plunder; prey
- waste material removed in making excavations, etc.
- Archaic the act of plundering; spoliation
- Obsolete damage; impairment
Origin of spoilME spoile < MFr espoille < L spolia, pl.
be spoiling for☆
verbspoiled spoiled or spoilt , spoil·ing, spoils
- To impair or destroy the value or quality of; ruin: spoiled the dish by adding too much salt; spoiled the party by getting into an argument.
- To harm the character of (a child) by overindulgence or leniency. See Synonyms at pamper.
- Archaic a. To plunder; despoil.b. To take by force.
- spoilsa. Goods or property seized from a victim after a conflict, especially after a military victory.b. Incidental benefits reaped by a winner, especially political patronage enjoyed by a successful party or candidate.
- An object of plunder; prey.
- Refuse material removed from an excavation.
- Archaic The act of plundering; spoliation.
Origin of spoilMiddle English spoilen, to plunder, from Old French espoillier, from Latin spoliāre, from spolium, booty.
(third-person singular simple present spoils, present participle spoiling, simple past and past participle spoiled or spoilt)
- (archaic) To strip (someone who has been killed or defeated) of their arms or armour. [from 14th c.]
- (archaic) To strip or deprive (someone) of their possessions; to rob, despoil. [from 14th c.]
- (intransitive, archaic) To plunder, pillage (a city, country etc.). [from 14th c.]
- To ruin; to damage (something) in some way making it unfit for use. [from 16th c.]
- To ruin the character of, by overindulgence; to coddle or pamper to excess. [from 17th c.]
- (intransitive) Of food, to become bad, sour or rancid; to decay. [from 17th c.]
- Make sure you put the milk back in the fridge, otherwise it will spoil.
- To render (a ballot paper) invalid by deliberately defacing it. [from 19th c.]
- To reveal the ending of (a story etc.); to ruin (a surprise) by exposing it ahead of time.
From Old French espoillier, from Latin spoliÄre, present active infinitive of spoliÅ (“pillage, ruin, spoil").