spill 1 (spĭl)
v. spilled or spilt (spĭlt), spill·ing, spills
1. To cause or allow (a substance) to run or fall out of a container.
2. To scatter (objects) from containment: spilled the armload of books on the desk.
3. To shed (blood).
a. To relieve the pressure of wind on (a sail).
b. To cause or allow (wind) to be lost from a sail.
5. To cause to fall: The rider was spilled by his horse.
6. Informal To disclose (something previously unknown); divulge: The witness spilled all the details about the suspect.
1. To run or fall out of a container or containment.
2. To come to the ground suddenly and involuntarily.
3. To pour out or spread beyond limits: Fans spilled onto the playing field.
1. The act of spilling.
2. An amount spilled.
3. A fall, as from a horse.
4. A spillway.
[Middle English spillen, to shed blood, to spill, from Old English spillan, to kill.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.