spoil Definition

  • 1to damage or ruin something
  • 2to treat someone with too much kindness and allow them to have or do whatever they want, often resulting in bad behavior
  • 3to decay or become bad

Using spoil: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "spoil" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The rain spoiled our picnic.

  • Example

    Don't let your parents spoil you too much.

  • Example

    The milk has spoiled and needs to be thrown away.

  • Example

    The ending of the movie was spoiled for me by my friend.

spoil Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for spoil

Phrases with spoil

  • to be eager or ready to fight or argue


    He looks like he's spoiling for a fight, so let's just avoid him.

  • to give someone everything they want, often to the point of causing bad behavior


    Her grandparents always spoil her rotten with gifts and treats.

  • having so many options that it is difficult to choose


    With all these great restaurants in town, we're spoiled for choice!

Origins of spoil

from Old English 'spoilian', meaning 'to plunder'


Summary: spoil in Brief

The verb 'spoil' [spɔɪl] means to damage or ruin something, to treat someone with too much kindness, or to decay or become bad. It can refer to physical objects, people, or situations, as in 'The rain spoiled our picnic,' 'Don't let your parents spoil you too much,' and 'The milk has spoiled and needs to be thrown away.' Phrases include 'spoil for a fight,' 'spoil someone rotten,' and 'spoiled for choice.'

How do native speakers use this expression?