Definition of spoil verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    spoil

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//spɔɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɔɪl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they spoil
    BrE BrE//spɔɪl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɔɪl//
     
    he / she / it spoils
    BrE BrE//spɔɪlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɔɪlz//
     
    past simple spoiled
    BrE BrE//spɔɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɔɪld//
     
    past participle spoiled
    BrE BrE//spɔɪld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɔɪld//
     
    (British English also) past simple spoilt
    BrE BrE//spɔɪlt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɔɪlt//
     
    (British English also) past participle spoilt
    BrE BrE//spɔɪlt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//spɔɪlt//
     
    -ing form spoiling
    BrE BrE//ˈspɔɪlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈspɔɪlɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [transitive] spoil something to change something good into something bad, unpleasant, useless, etc. synonym ruin Our camping trip was spoilt by bad weather. Don't let him spoil your evening. The tall buildings have spoiled the view. Don't eat too many nuts—you'll spoil your appetite (= will no longer be hungry at the proper time to eat). (British English) spoiled ballot papers (= not valid because not correctly marked) I won’t tell you what happens in the last chapter—I don’t want to spoil it for you.
  2. 2  [transitive] spoil somebody to give a child everything that they ask for and not enough discipline in a way that has a bad effect on their character and behaviour synonym overindulge She spoils those kids of hers.
  3. 3[transitive] spoil somebody/yourself to make somebody/yourself happy by doing something special Why not spoil yourself with a weekend in a top hotel? He really spoiled me on my birthday.
  4. 4[intransitive] (of food) to become bad so that it can no longer be eaten synonym go off (6)
  5. Word 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.Extra examples Don’t let the bad weather spoil your trip. He spoils the children with expensive toys. Her selfish behaviour completely spoiled the evening. I don’t want to spoil things for everyone else. It would be a pity to spoil the surprise. My grandparents used to spoil me rotten. Now, don’t be hard on the children and spoil their fun! The bad weather really spoilt things for us. Those children are thoroughly spoiled! Why did they have to act so aggressively and spoil everything? Don’t have anything to eat now—you’ll spoil your appetite. I don’t want to spoil your fun, but it’s nearly time to go home. I won’t tell you what happens in the last chapter—I don’t want to spoil it for you. The new buildings have completely spoiled the view. The performance was spoilt by the constant noise from the audience. Why do you always have to spoil everything?Idioms
    be spoiling for a fight
     
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    to want to fight with somebody very much
    spoil the ship for a ha’p’orth/ha’pennyworth of tar
     
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    (saying) to spoil something good because you did not spend enough money or time on a small but essential part of it
    too many cooks spoil the broth
     
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    (saying) if too many people are involved in doing something, it will not be done well
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: spoil