verb (past and past participle spoiled or chiefly British spoilt /spoilt/)[with object]
- 1Diminish or destroy the value or quality of: I wouldn’t want to spoil your fun a series of political blunders spoiled their chances of being re-electedMore example sentences
- The audience are audible throughout but not in such a way as to spoil the audio quality.
- I don't know, but it's certainly odd - not that it spoils the fun in any way.
- Part of the enjoyment in watching this movie is that the viewer doesn't know where the story is going, so I won't spoil the fun by giving away plot points.
- 1.1Prevent someone from enjoying (an occasion or event): she was afraid of spoiling Christmas for the rest of the familyMore example sentences
- To say too much would be to spoil the occasion, but there are twists, turns and horrific blood curdling scenes of carnage.
- Finally, at half past seven the guests agreed it was a pity to spoil a good dinner and seated themselves to a delicious meal.
- Theater owners like to throw up their hands and blame the shortcomings of the patrons and films, but they're not acknowledging their role in spoiling a once-magical experience.
- 1.2 [no object] (Of food) become unfit for eating: I’ve got some ham that’ll spoil if we don’t eat it tonightMore example sentences
- Did you know that honey is the only food that won't spoil?
- Grapes consisted of an actual bunch hanging on a string; as it spoiled, individual grapes spatted on the floor.
- Sometimes there are crops that won't grow, grain that spoils, or a piece of machinery turns out to be a lemon.
- 2Harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent: the last thing I want to do is spoil Thomas (as adjective spoiled) a spoiled childMore example sentences
- Until then I had been a very spoiled child by my mother, my grandpa and my maternal family which was kind of a biblical family.
- Both husband and wife turn to Hunt for help, each implying that the other is mentally unbalanced, terrorizing or spoiling their only child, the five year old Alec.
- Mrs. Reed is a rich, pretentious and condescending woman, and her children are terribly spoiled, cruel and rude.
- 2.1Treat with great or excessive kindness, consideration, or generosity: breakfast in bed—you’re spoiling me!More example sentences
- Captain Auld considers Douglass to have been spoiled by life in the city.
- When she leaves him, she is pregnant with his son, whom she spoils with gifts and excess once born.
- In another two scenes at a local cabaret venue, he spoils us with a couple more songs.
- 3 [no object] (be spoiling for) Be extremely or aggressively eager for: Cooper was spoiling for a fightMore example sentences
- But the drama was only just beginning and, as the Lords began debating the bill, it became obvious that they were spoiling for a fight.
- Not everyone, however, is spoiling for a fight.
- Many of the girls who greeted Em warmly happened to date him at one time or another in their lives, and were spoiling for righteous retribution.
nounBack to top
- 1 (usually spoils) Goods stolen or taken forcibly from a person or place: the looters carried their spoils awayMore example sentences
- The spoils of plunder were divided between temples, with the victor keeping his share.
- We've always been incredibly good at this sort of imperialistic thing of bringing back the spoils of our plunders overseas and putting a unique twist on them, and a little bit of dry British humor.
- It's important that I get a fair share of the spoils.
- 2Waste material brought up during the course of an excavation or a dredging or mining operation.More example sentences
- It also looks at how existing spoil heaps are being leveled and landscaped.
- Down there in the mud the diggers heap spoil into piles.
- Severe compaction sometimes occurs when the spoil or topsoil material is moved when too wet during the reclamation process.
Middle English (in the sense 'to plunder'): shortening of Old French espoille (noun), espoillier (verb), from Latin spoliare, from spolium 'plunder, skin stripped from an animal', or a shortening of despoil.