Definition of despoil in English:

despoil

Syllabification: de·spoil
Pronunciation: /dəˈspoil
 
/

verb

[with object]
Steal or violently remove valuable or attractive possessions from; plunder: the church was despoiled of its marble wall covering
More example sentences
  • Plastic and organic waste clogs rivers, despoils the environment and fouls the seas.
  • Their place in the world has been stolen; they've been despoiled of their work and their land.
  • If you despoil a whole town, if you wreck the environment for thousands of people, somebody's going to describe you as an entrepreneurial genius.
Synonyms
devastate, lay waste, ruin
rob, strip, deprive, dispossess, denude, divest, relieve, clean out

Origin

Middle English: from Old French despoillier, from Latin despoliare 'rob, plunder' (from spolia 'spoil').

Derivatives

despoiler

noun
More example sentences
  • Radical environmentalists sidestep the question by declaring the despoilers of wilderness the ‘real terrorists.’
  • The city is being given to the despoilers, speculators, land mafia and vandals.
  • But the challenge will be to bring the urban voter in particular, along with us, so that they realise that various popular images they might have, be it of the noble farmer or be it of the farmer as an environmental despoiler are wrong.

despoilment

noun
More example sentences
  • It investigates zoning, despoilment, natural resources, federal, state and local policy and all manner of important issues relating to the fragile ecosystem of Hawaii, and the world.
  • How could it defend itself against further despoilment by foreigners?
  • Historically, the kind of drastic accumulation I encountered is a brand-new kind of despoilment.

Definition of despoil in:

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