- to strip of possessions, things of value, etc.; rob; plunder; pillage.
Origin of despoil
SynonymsSee more synonyms for despoil on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for despoil
So I called Bergman and said, “Do you mind if I despoil your script?”Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
You pull down, you despoil; but they build up, they restore.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
But forgive me; it was hard for me to see you despoil yourself.Doctor Pascal
I would rather say, "despoil me of my life, but my integrity never."Three Years in the Federal Cavalry
If I despoil the bulls of their skins, you are not too proud to despoil one of the husbands of the widow.A Romance of the West Indies
Euphorbus, attempting to despoil Patroclus of his armour, is slain by Menelaus.
- (tr) to strip or deprive by force; plunder; rob; loot
Word Origin and History for despoil
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.