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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)

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.

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."