spoil

[[t]spɔ͟ɪl[/t]]
spoils, spoiling, spoiled, spoilt
(American English uses the form spoiled as the past tense and past participle. British English uses either spoiled or spoilt.)
1) VERB If you spoil something, you prevent it from being successful or satisfactory.

[V n] It's important not to let mistakes spoil your life...

[V n] Peaceful summer evenings can be spoilt by mosquitoes.

2) VERB If you spoil children, you give them everything they want or ask for. This is considered to have a bad effect on a child's character.

[V n] Grandparents are often tempted to spoil their grandchildren whenever they come to visit.

Derived words:
spoilt, spoiled ADJ-GRADED

A spoilt child is rarely popular with other children...

Oh, that child. He's so spoiled.

3) VERB If you spoil yourself or spoil another person, you give yourself or them something nice as a treat or do something special for them.

[V pron-refl] Spoil yourself with a new perfume this summer...

[V n] Perhaps I could employ someone to iron his shirts, but I wanted to spoil him. He was my man.

Syn:
4) V-ERG If food spoils or if it is spoilt, it is no longer fit to be eaten.

We all know that fats spoil by becoming rancid...

[V n] Some organisms are responsible for spoiling food and cause food poisoning...

[V n] Some of my apples were spoilt last year by grubs inside the fruit.

[V-ed] ...the potential health problems from spoiled food.

5) VERB If someone spoils their vote, they write something illegal on their voting paper, usually as a protest about the election, and their vote is not accepted. [BRIT]

[V n] They had broadcast calls for voters to spoil their ballot papers...

[V-ed] The results showed that 7.2% of the voters cast blank or spoiled ballots.

Syn:
6) N-PLURAL: usu with supp The spoils of something are things that people get as a result of winning a battle or of doing something successfully.

True to military tradition, the victors are now treating themselves to the spoils of war...

Competing warlords and foreign powers scrambled for political spoils.

7) PHRASE: v-link PHR If you say that someone is spoilt for choice or spoiled for choice, you mean that they have a great many things of the same type to choose from.

At lunchtime, MPs are spoilt for choice in 26 restaurants and bars, each providing subsidised food.

Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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 …   Etymology dictionary

  • 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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