Definition of "spoil" []

  • To impair the value or quality of. (verb-transitive)
  • To damage irreparably; ruin. (verb-transitive)
  • To impair the completeness, perfection, or unity of; flaw grievously: spoiled the party. (verb-transitive)
  • To do harm to the character, nature, or attitude of by oversolicitude, overindulgence, or excessive praise. See Synonyms at pamper. (verb-transitive)
  • Archaic To plunder; despoil. (verb-transitive)
  • To cause damage to (something), in regard to its value, beauty, usefulness, etc (verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • To weaken the character of (a child) by complying unrestrainedly with its desires (verb)
  • (of perishable substances) to become unfit for consumption or use (verb)
  • To disrupt the play or style of an opponent, as to prevent him from settling into a rhythm (verb)
  • To strip (a person or place) of (property or goods) by force or violence (verb)
  • Waste material thrown up by an excavation (noun)
  • Any treasure accumulated by a person (noun)
  • The act of plundering (noun)
  • A strategically placed building, city, etc, captured as plunder (noun) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "spoil" in a sentence
  • "The term spoil (ghanima) is applied specifically to property acquired by force from non-Muslims."
  • "What a ridiculous question would this be to him, who knows that in what we call spoil, he pursues the rational purposes of his own art; that to the excellence of the metal, he may also add the curiousness of the figure?"
  • "At issue was the massive amount of rock left over from the mountaintop-removal process, known as spoil, that is dumped into adjoining valleys, clogging up streams."