[ dih-spoil ]
See synonyms for: despoildespoileddespoiling on

verb (used with object)
  1. 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

Other words for despoil

Other words from despoil

  • de·spoil·er, noun
  • de·spoil·ment, noun
  • un·de·spoiled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use despoil in a sentence

  • Eco-sceptic Brits weary of seeing their green and pleasant land despoiled with wind turbines, nodded their heads in agreement.

  • Afghans have also been their own worst enemies, standing by as their friends and relatives despoiled the public realm.

  • My poor son would have been despoiled and wronged like the king, my husband, and I should have been the cause of it.

    Catherine de' Medici | Honore de Balzac
  • But the room was empty save for the despoiled carcass, and there was no sign of the aliens who had been sent out to scout.

    Star Born | Andre Norton
  • The riot ended only when the captain had been despoiled of the peppermints he had provided for such contingencies.

    Cursed | George Allan England

British Dictionary definitions for despoil


/ (dɪˈspɔɪl) /

  1. (tr) to strip or deprive by force; plunder; rob; loot

Origin of despoil

C13: from Old French despoillier, from Latin dēspoliāre, from de- + spoliāre to rob (esp of clothing); see spoil

Derived forms of despoil

  • despoiler, noun
  • despoilment, noun

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