Perhaps worst of all, this scramble for spoils raises the value of gains even as it lowers the bar for action.
When one medieval fiefdom defeated another they would drag back its jewels, gold, tapestries and art objects as the spoils of war.
As part of the spoils of ousting Batista and seizing power in 1959, Castro took custody of Fidelito.
Hewing to principle is difficult, because it makes party whips angry, spoils dinner parties, and ends careers and friendships.
In point of fact, Muslims do not have to pray in a building with a tall tower that spoils the surrounding landscape.
The spoils of the palaces he found here were transported to England in 1847.
And shall not Britain now reward his toils, Britain, that pays her patriots with her spoils?
Magenta is bad enough when it is itself; but the worst of magenta is that it spoils but poorly.
“Or for smugglers to keep their spoils in,” I said; and the brigadier chuckled.
The pavilion of Hanover at Paris was built out of the spoils of Germany.
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.
"goods captured in time of war," c.1300; see spoil (v.). Spoils system in U.S. politics attested by 1839, commonly associated with the administration of President Andrew Jackson, on the notion of "to the victor belongs the spoils."
To kill; waste: You wanted to hate his guts so it would be easier to spoil him? (1980s+)