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90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-spoil] /dɪˈspɔɪl/
verb (used with object)
to strip of possessions, things of value, etc.; rob; plunder; pillage.
Origin of despoil
1175-1225; Middle English despoilen < Old French despoillier < Latin dēspoliāre to strip, rob, plunder, equivalent to dē- de- + spoliāre to plunder; see spoil
Related forms
despoiler, noun
despoilment, noun
undespoiled, adjective
dispossess, divest; rifle, sack; fleece. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for despoiler
Historical Examples
  • Legend says that as the last monk departed, he warned his despoiler that by fire and water his line should perish.

  • It, to the human mind, was incomprehensible; and to the despoiler, the human mind was incomprehensible.

    Unthinkable Roger Phillips Graham
  • In the centre of the floor are two admirable fourteenth-century brasses, which have fortunately escaped the despoiler's hand.

    Westminster Abbey Mrs. A. Murray Smith
  • Its discoverer might have been its father; he proved to be its despoiler.

  • For these reasons the granary knows no final multiplication on the part of the despoiler.

    A Book of Exposition Homer Heath Nugent
  • The Prophet (may God be kind to him) spared not the despoiler!

  • Thy race conquered our people, and in rising against thine we did but despoil the despoiler.

    Tales from the Lands of Nuts and Grapes Charles Sellers and Others
  • The despoiler plunged into a valley; the Prince was dose upon him.

    The Usurper Judith Gautier
  • He entreated the plunderer to leave him this one book, from which he promised that he would pray for his despoiler.

    Travels in Central Asia Arminius Vmbry
  • Nor is it improbable that her affections had been bestowed upon her despoiler.

    Curiosities of Medical Experience J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen
British Dictionary definitions for despoiler


(transitive) to strip or deprive by force; plunder; rob; loot
Derived Forms
despoiler, noun
despoilment, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French despoillier, from Latin dēspoliāre, from de- + spoliāre to rob (esp of clothing); see spoil
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for despoiler



c.1300, from Old French despoillier (12c., Modern French dépouiller) "to strip, rob, deprive of, steal, borrow," from Latin despoliare "to rob, despoil, plunder," from de- "entirely" (see de-) + spoliare "to strip of clothing, rob," from spolium "armor, booty" (see spoil (v.)). Related: Despoiled; despoiling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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