an accidental release of oil into a body of water, as from a tanker, offshore drilling rig, or underwater pipeline, often presenting a hazard to marine life and the environment.
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- oil rivers,
- oil sand,
- oil sands,
- oil shale,
- oil slick,
- oil tanker,
- oil varnish,
- oil well,
Origin of oil spill
First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for oil spill
Also, oil-spill cleanup plans that companies filed with government sometimes turned out to be completely useless.