The result of the spore development is the spoiling of the food.

Perhaps I am spoiling the only chance I have to get any happiness out of life.

I'm just spoiling for something to practice on, anyway—and he's such a beauty.

These friends of yours were bent on spoiling a good man to make bad meat.

You were all spoiling for a fight—and there did seem to be the makings of a beautiful row!

Then he began to dig about it carefully to keep from spoiling the honey.

That little curé would be afraid of spoiling his little white hands!

Then we must abstain from spoiling the dead or hindering their burial?

You know, Caroline, that money and what it brought was spoiling Steve.

But it would be a sin to allow it; it would be spoiling a saint to patch up a sinner.


c.1300, from Old French espoillier "to strip, plunder," from Latin 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 break off" (cf. Greek aspalon "skin, hide," spolas "flayed skin;" Lithuanian spaliai "shives of flax;" Old Church Slavonic rasplatiti "to cleave, split;" Middle Low German spalden, Old High German spaltan "to split;" Sanskrit sphatayati "splits").

Sense of "to damage so as to render useless" is from 1560s; that of "to over-indulge" (a child, etc.) is from 1640s (implied in spoiled). Intransitive sense of "to go bad" is from 1690s. To be spoiling for (a fight, etc.) is from 1865, from notion that one will "spoil" if he doesn't get it. Spoil-sport attested from 1801.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.