Definition of spoil in English:

spoil

Line breaks: spoil
Pronunciation: /spɔɪl
 
/

verb (past and past participle spoilt (chiefly British ) or spoiled)

[with object]
  • 2Harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent: the last thing I want to do is spoil Thomas (as adjective spoilt or spoiled) a spoilt child
    More 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.
    Synonyms
    overindulge, pamper, indulge, mollycoddle, cosset, coddle, baby, spoon-feed, feather-bed, wait on hand and foot, cater to someone's every whim, wrap in cotton wool, overparent, kill with kindness; nanny, nursemaid; dote on
    archaic cocker
  • 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.
  • 4 archaic Rob (a person or a place) of goods or possessions by force or violence: the enemy entered into Hereford, spoiled and fired the city, and razed the walls to the ground

noun

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  • 2 [mass noun] Waste material brought up during the course of an excavation or a dredging or mining operation: colliery spoil
    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.

Phrases

be spoilt for choice

British Have so many options that it is difficult to make a choice.
More example sentences
  • There were so many good dogs there, you were spoilt for choice.
  • To my surprise, we were spoilt for choice on the food front too.
  • Ms Donovan, said: ‘The selection panel was spoilt for choice.’

Origin

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.

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