Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: espoillier, from Latin spoliare 'to strip, rob', from spolium; SPOILS


1 verb
Related topics: Voting
spoil1 past tense and past participle spoiled also spoilt British English


[transitive] to have a bad effect on something so that it is no longer attractive, enjoyable, useful etc [= 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 usage note destroy

treat too kindly

[transitive] 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).

treat kindly

[transitive] 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.


[intransitive] to start to decay:
Food will spoil if the temperature in your freezer rises above 8ºC.


[transitive] British EnglishPPV to mark a ballot paper wrongly so that your vote is not included

be spoiling for a fight/argument

to be very eager to fight or argue with someone

destroy, ruin, spoil
Destroy means to damage something so badly that it no longer exists or people can no longer use it The earthquake destroyed even the tallest buildings. The rainforests are being destroyed at a frightening rate.If you ruin or spoil something, it still exists, but it has lost all its good qualities or features. Ruin is stronger than spoil The rain ruined my hair. I don't want to spoil your day.See also destroy

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