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spoil (spoil)
Share:
v. spoiledor spoilt (spoilt), spoil·ing, spoils
v. tr.
1.
a. To impair or destroy the quality or value of; ruin: spoiled the dish by adding too much salt.
b. To impair or destroy the enjoyment or experience of: spoiled the movie by talking throughout it.
c. To reveal details about (a movie or a book, for example) before someone has a chance to discover these details on their own: The article spoiled the next episode of my favorite TV show.
2. To harm the character of (a child) by overindulgence or leniency. See Synonyms at pamper.
3. Archaic
a. To plunder; despoil.
b. To take by force.
v. intr.
To become unfit for use or consumption, as from decay. Used especially of perishables, such as food. See Synonyms at decay.
n.
1. spoils
a. 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.
2. An object of plunder; prey.
3. Refuse material removed from an excavation.
4. Archaic The act of plundering; spoliation.
Phrasal Verb:
spoil for
To be eager for: spoiling for a fight.

[Middle English spoilen, to plunder, from Old French espoillier, from Latin spoliāre, from spolium, booty.]

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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