From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishspoilspoil1 /spɔɪl/ ●●● S3 verb (past tense and past participle spoiled or spoilt /spɔɪlt/ British English) 1 damage [transitive]SPOIL to have a bad effect on something so that it is no longer attractive, enjoyable, useful etc syn ruin The whole park is spoiled by litter. We didn’t let the incident spoil our day. I don’t want to spoil your fun. Why do you always have to spoil everything? → spoil/ruin your appetite at appetite(1)► see thesaurus at damage2 treat too kindly [transitive]BEHAVE to give a child everything they want, or let them do whatever they want, often with the result that they behave badly She’s an only child, but they didn’t really spoil her. His mother and sisters spoil him rotten (=spoil him very much).3 treat kindly [transitive]KIND to look after someone in a way that is very kind or too kind You’ll have to let me spoil you on your birthday.spoil yourself Go on, spoil yourself. Have another piece of cake.4 decay [intransitive]DECAY to start to decay Food will spoil if the temperature in your freezer rises above 8°C.5 voting [transitive] British EnglishPPV to mark a ballot paper wrongly so that your vote is not included6 → be spoiling for a fight/argumentTHESAURUSspoil to have a bad effect on something so that it is much less attractive, enjoyable etcNew housing developments are spoiling the countryside.The bad weather completely spoiled our holiday.ruin to spoil something completely and permanentlyUsing harsh soap to wash your face can ruin your skin.The argument ruined the evening for me.mar written to spoil something by making it less attractive or enjoyableHis handsome Arab features were marred by a long scar across his face.Outbreaks of fighting marred the New Year celebrations.detract from something to slightly spoil something that is generally very good, beautiful, or impressiveThe huge number of tourists rather detracts from the city’s appeal.There were a few minor irritations, but this did not detract from our enjoyment of the holiday. undermine to spoil something that you have been trying to achieveThe bombings undermined several months of careful negotiations.sour to spoil a friendly relationship between people or countriesThe affair has soured relations between the UK and Russia.poison to spoil a close relationship completely, so that people can no longer trust each otherTheir marriage was poisoned by a terrible dark secret.mess something up informal to spoil something important or something that has been carefully plannedIf there’s any delay, it will mess up our whole schedule.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusspoil• Our national supply of top-grade, rugged military leadership material must already be spoiled.• Most of the food in the refrigerator had spoiled.• We've been spoiled by all the good restaurants around here.• It's too bad her good looks are spoiled by her nose.• She wanted to do her own thing, but was afraid of spoiling Christmas for the rest of the family.• Oh, but it would spoil Christmas - the last Christmas Day she and Susan would have together.• We were going to get married, but then war broke out and spoiled everything.• It seemed to him that Vincent came home spoiling for a fight.• Starting a family so soon would definitely spoil her career prospects for her.• Danny was her favourite grandson and she spoiled him rotten.• This was her moment of glory, and she wasn't going to let anyone spoil it.• He really didn't like it the first time we played it, so he tried spoiling it.• Roses? You're spoiling me, Bill.• The bad weather completely spoiled our holiday.• A badly positioned path can spoil the appearance of a garden.• Down in London there was only one thing spoiling the continuing party atmosphere.• New housing developments are spoiling the countryside for everyone.• When giving positive attention, do not spoil the positive message with qualifiers.• The assassination attempt has definitely spoilt the previously positive atmosphere between the opposing parties.• This scandal could spoil the Senator's chances of becoming President.• The power station is extremely ugly, and it spoils the view of the sea.• One thoughtless comment spoiled the whole evening.• Why did you have to invite Jerry? You've spoiled the whole weekend.• His jealousy spoiled their relationship, and she left him after a few months.• He got very drunk that evening, and seemed determined to spoil things for all of us.• Don't let me spoil your plans.spoil everything• An emergency at a time like this could spoil everything.• Damn it, oh damn it, why did this war have to spoil everything?• To alter a detail would be to spoil everything.• What right had he to spoil everything?• Why did she have to appear on the scene and spoil everything?• After all this time spent waiting to be alone with Frank, how could she spoil everything by coming along?spoil ... rotten• Naturally, he spoils them rotten.• She had spoiled the child rotten.• The arrangement suits me fine and Kristian is happy because I spoil him rotten.• When I was a little kid, they spoiled me rotten.• He is surprised at how headstrong, spoiled rotten, and needful of training and discipline I have become during his absence.spoil yourself• He has spoiled Stanford and spoiled himself.• In spoiling the children they are vicariously spoiling themselves.