Language: Old English
Origin: spillan 'to kill, destroy, waste'


1 verb
spill1 S3 past tense and past participle spilt especially British English or spilled especially American English
1 [intransitive and transitive] if you spill a liquid, or if it spills, it accidentally flows over the edge of a container [↪ pour]:
Katie almost spilled her milk.
spill something down/on/over something
Oh no! I've spilt coffee all down my shirt!
spill on/over etc
He slipped and the wine spilled all over the carpet.
2 [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if people or things spill out of somewhere, they move or fall out in large numbers [= pour]
spill out/into/onto etc
Crowds from the theatre were spilling onto the street.

spill the beans

informal to tell something that someone else wanted you to keep a secret

spill your guts

American English informal to tell someone all about your private life, or about a personal secret

spill blood

literary to kill or wound people

➔ cry over spilt milk

at cry1 (3)

spill into/onto something

phrasal verb
if light spills onto or into something, it shines through a window, door, hole etc onto something else:
The morning light spilled into the room.

spill over

phrasal verb
if a problem or bad situation spills over, it spreads and begins to affect other places, people etc
spill over into
The conflict might spill over into neighbouring towns.

Dictionary results for "spill"
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