(archaic) To strip (someone who has been killed or defeated) of their arms or armour.
(archaic) To strip or deprive (someone) of their possessions; to rob, despoil.
* 1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. (Bible) , (w) IX:
* 1590 , (Edmund Spenser), (The Faerie Queene) , VII:
- All that herde hym wer amased and sayde: ys nott this he that spoylled them whych called on this name in Jerusalem?
- To do her dye (quoth Vna) were despight, / And shame t'auenge so weake an enimy; / But spoile her of her scarlot robe, and let her fly.
(ambitransitive, archaic) To plunder, pillage (a city, country etc.).
* (Edmund Spenser) (c.1552–1599)
- Roger, that rich Bishop of Salisbury,through grief ran mad, spoke and did he knew not what.
(obsolete) To carry off (goods) by force; to steal.
* (Bible), (w) iii. 27
- Outlaws, which, lurking in woods, used to break forth to rob and spoil .
To ruin; to damage (something) in some way making it unfit for use.
* (Jeremy Taylor) (1613–1677)
- No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man.
- Spiritual pride spoils many graces.
* 2011 , ‘What the Arab papers say’, The Economist , 5 Aug 2011:
- "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. […]"
To ruin the character of, by overindulgence; to coddle or pamper to excess.
Of food, to become bad, sour or rancid; to decay.
- ‘This is a great day for us. Let us not spoil it by saying the wrong thing, by promoting a culture of revenge, or by failing to treat the former president with respect.’
To render (a ballot paper) invalid by deliberately defacing it.
* 2003 , David Nicoll, The Guardian , letter:
- Make sure you put the milk back in the fridge, otherwise it will spoil .
To reveal the ending of (a story etc.); to ruin (a surprise) by exposing it ahead of time.
- Dr Jonathan Grant (Letters, April 22) feels the best way to show his disaffection with political parties over Iraq is to spoil his ballot paper.
* (ruin) damage, destroy, ruin
* (coddle) coddle, indulge, mollycoddle
(Also in plural: spoils ) Plunder taken from an enemy or victim.
(uncountable) Material (such as rock or earth) removed in the course of an excavation, or in mining or dredging]]. [[tailings, Tailings.
* spoils of war
* too many cooks spoil the broth
To move about in roving fashion looking for plunder.
- a marauding band
, year= 1684
, year_published= 1728
, author= (Thomas Otway
, title= The Works of Mr. Thomas Otway
, url= http://books.google.com/books?id=tA4UAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA88
, section= The Atheist; or the Second Part of the Soldier's Fortune
, publisher= Richard, James, and Bethel Wellington
, location= London
, volume= 2
, page= 88
, passage= Peace Plunder
, Peace, you Rogue; no Moroding
now i we'll burn, rob, demolish and murder another time together : This is a Bus'ness must be done with decency.
, year= 1711
, year_published= 1721
, author= (Joseph Addison
, title= The Spectator, no. 90-505
, url= http://books.google.com/books?id=jAszAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA115
, publisher= Thomas Tickell
, location= London
, volume= 3
, page= 115
, passage= in one of which they met with a party of French
that had been marauding
, and made them all prisoners at discretion.
To go about aggressively or in a predatory manner.
, year= 1770
, title= The Critical Review: Or, Annals of Literature
, url= http://books.google.com/books?id=4FrQAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA73
, chapter= Fables for Grown Gentlemen
, publisher= A. Hamilton
, location= London
, editor= Tobias George Smollett
, volume= 29
, page= 73
, passage= A flea out of a blanket shaken, A bloody-minded sinner, Upon a taylor's neck was taken, Marauding
for a dinner.
To raid and pillage.
, year= 1829
, author= (Washington Irving
, title= A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada: In Two Volumes
, url= http://books.google.com/books?id=hylOAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA118
, publisher= Baudry, at the Foreign Library
, location= Paris
, volume= 1
, page= 118-9
, passage= As the tract of country they intended to maraud
was far in the Moorish territories near the coast of the Mediterranean, they did not arrive until late in the following day.
The verb and adjective are more common as “marauding”.