spoil


spoil
spoil c.1300, from O.Fr. espoillier "to strip, plunder," from L. spoliare "to strip of clothing, rob," from spolium "armor stripped from an enemy, booty;" originally "skin stripped from a killed animal," from PIE *spol-yo-, perhaps from root *spel- "to split, to break off" (Cf. Gk. aspalon "skin, hide," spolas "flayed skin;" Lith. spaliai "shives of flax;" O.C.S. rasplatiti "to cleave, split;" M.L.G. spalden, O.H.G. spaltan "to split;" Skt. sphatayati "splits"). Sense of "to damage so as to render useless" is from 1560s; that of "to over-indulge" (a child, etc.) is from 1640s (implied in spoiled). Intransitive sense of "to go bad" is from 1690s. To be spoiling for (a fight, etc.) is from 1865, from notion that one will "spoil" if he doesn't get it. The noun meaning "goods captured in time of war" is from c.1300. Spoil-sport attested from 1801. Spoils system in U.S. politics attested by 1839, commonly associated with the administration of President Andrew Jackson.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Spoil — (spoil), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spoiled} (spoild) or {Spoilt} (spoilt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Spoiling}.] [F. spolier, OF. espoillier, fr. L. spoliare, fr. spolium spoil. Cf. {Despoil}, {Spoliation}.] 1. To plunder; to strip by violence; to pillage; to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spoil — n Spoil, plunder, booty, prize, loot, swag can mean something of value that is taken from another by force or craft. Spoil applies to the movable property of a defeated enemy, which by the custom of old time warfare belongs to the victor and of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Spoil — Spoil, n. [Cf. OF. espoille, L. spolium.] 1. That which is taken from another by violence; especially, the plunder taken from an enemy; pillage; booty. [1913 Webster] Gentle gales, Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense Native perfumes, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spoil — [ spɔıl ] verb ** ▸ 1 make worse ▸ 2 allow child everything ▸ 3 treat someone with care ▸ 4 food: become too old ▸ 5 in election ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) transitive to affect something in a way that makes it worse, less attractive, or less enjoyable:… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Spoil — (spoil), v. i. 1. To practice plunder or robbery. [1913 Webster] Outlaws, which, lurking in woods, used to break forth to rob and spoil. Spenser. [1913 Webster] 2. To lose the valuable qualities; to be corrupted; to decay; as, fruit will soon… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spoil — [v1] ruin, hurt blemish, damage, debase, deface, defile, demolish, depredate, desecrate, desolate, despoil, destroy, devastate, disfigure, disgrace, harm, impair, injure, make useless, mar, mess up*, muck up*, pillage, plunder, prejudice, ravage …   New thesaurus

  • spoil — [spoil] vt. spoiled or Brit. spoilt, spoiling [ME spoilen < MFr espoillier < L spoliare, to plunder < spolium, arms taken from a defeated foe, plunder, orig., hide stripped from an animal < IE base * (s)p(h)el , to split, tear off… …   English World dictionary

  • spoil|er — «SPOY luhr», noun. 1. a person or thing that spoils. 2. a person who takes spoils. 3. a movable flap on the upper surface of the wing of an airplane, to help in slowing down or in decreasing lift, as in descending or landing. 4. an airflow… …   Useful english dictionary

  • spoil — I (impair) verb addle, blemish, blight, botch, break, bungle, butcher, corrumpere, corrupt, damage, damage irreparably, debase, decay, decompose, deface, defile, deform, demolish, destroy, deteriorate, dilapidate, disable, disfigure, go bad, harm …   Law dictionary

  • spoil — ► VERB (past and past part. spoilt (chiefly Brit. ) or spoiled) 1) diminish or destroy the value or quality of. 2) (of food) become unfit for eating. 3) harm the character of (a child) by being too indulgent. 4) treat with great or excessive… …   English terms dictionary


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