to cause or allow to run or fall from a container, especially accidentally or wastefully: to spill a bag of marbles; to spill milk.
to shed (blood), as in killing or wounding.
to scatter: to spill papers all over everything.
to let the wind out of (a sail).
to lose (wind) from a sail.
to cause to fall from a horse, vehicle, or the like: His horse spilled him.
Informal. to divulge, disclose, or tell: Don't spill the secret.
(of a liquid, loose particles, etc.) to run or escape from a container, especially by accident or in careless handling.
a spilling, as of liquid.
a quantity spilled.
the mark made by something spilled.
Also called spill light [spil-lahyt] /ˈspɪl ˌlaɪt/ . superfluous or useless light rays, as from theatrical or photographic lighting units.
Theater. an area of a stage illuminated by spill light.
a throw or fall from a horse, vehicle, or the like: She broke her arm in a spill.
Idioms about spill
- spill·a·ble, adjective, noun
- non·spill·a·ble, adjective
- un·spilled, adjective
Other definitions for spill (2 of 2)
a slender piece of wood or of twisted paper, for lighting candles, lamps, etc.
a peg made of metal.
a small pin for stopping a cask; spile.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use spill in a sentence
Safely store drinks in two cup holders built into the arm rest and—should any spills happen—you can easily clean up the faux leather surface.Comfortable sofa beds for a peaceful night’s sleep | PopSci Commerce Team | September 11, 2020 | Popular-Science
These mighty, microfiber towels are capable of dissolving big spills, plus they retain their shape after multiple washes.
Since then, these microbes have been used to clean up oil spills and radioactive waste.
Three weeks ago, I was looking down into my husband’s unblinking eyes, seeing blood spill from his nose and mouth, and feeling my hand trying to stop the bleeding from the back of his head.
She says that after watching Pacific Gas and Electric cut corners and try to cover up spills and plumes, she’s started to notice negligence patterns, and there’s no national database for those toxic hot spots.
A new paper outlines five steps required for a virus to ‘spill over’ from bats to humans.
In the immediate aftermath of the oil spill, apoplectic Southerners cast their disdain towards the North.
Since the spill, the number of unemployed residents in Louisiana and Alabama has only increased.
Bewildered adolescents, many of them accompanied by equally confused guardians, spill out into the hallway.
Nor is it the way the gunman manages not to spill a drop of the drink in his other hand as he commits all this savagery.Bronx Gunman Shot His Friend, Didn’t Spill His Drink | Michael Daly | August 5, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
I am of opinion too, that the Indecency of the next Verse, you spill upon me, would admit of an equal Correction.A Letter from Mr. Cibber to Mr. Pope | Colley Cibber
I knew that in the open I could in some way spill the horn, so that she would be helpless and harmless afterward.A Prince of Cornwall | Charles W. Whistler
The ashes there are never to be taken out, no matter if they are piled a foot thick, and spill all over the floor.The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton
But first must you win scars and spill the blood of your foes, that all may learn to fear the utterance of your name.Menotah | Ernest G. Henham
And you would spill blood sooner than your betters should know it—ye ninny-cumpoops!It Is Never Too Late to Mend | Charles Reade
British Dictionary definitions for spill (1 of 2)
(when intr, usually foll by from, out of, etc) to fall or cause to fall from or as from a container, esp unintentionally
to disgorge (contents, occupants, etc) or (of contents, occupants, etc) to be disgorged: the car spilt its passengers onto the road; the crowd spilt out of the theatre
to shed (blood)
Also: spill the beans informal to disclose something confidential
nautical to let (wind) escape from a sail or (of the wind) to escape from a sail
informal a fall or tumble
short for spillway
a spilling of liquid, etc, or the amount spilt
Australian the declaring of several political jobs vacant when one higher up becomes so: the Prime Minister's resignation could mean a Cabinet spill
- spiller, noun
British Dictionary definitions for spill (2 of 2)
a splinter of wood or strip of twisted paper with which pipes, fires, etc, are lit
a small peg or rod made of metal
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with spill
In addition to the idiom beginning with spill
- spill the beans
- shed (spill) blood
- take a spill
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.