verb (used with object), spilled or spilt, spill·ing.
- to let the wind out of (a sail).
- to lose (wind) from a sail.
verb (used without object), spilled or spilt, spill·ing.
- spill over,
- spill the beans,
Origin of spill1
Origin of spill2
Examples from the Web for spill
A new paper outlines five steps required for a virus to ‘spill over’ from bats to humans.
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|DAILY BEAST
Zaun, who was starting to look like the favorite, took the stage to cheers and vowed “I will spill my blood to save the unborn.”
Twenty-year thrills more readily than forty-year, just as forty-year is more reluctant to take a chance at a spill.Down the Yellowstone|Lewis R. Freeman
He had taken a leaf of the raw tobacco and adding a pinch for filler was trying to twist the spill.Where the Pavement Ends|John Russell
"It will last until bedtime," she announced, and lit it with a spill of paper.The Doomsman|Van Tassel Sutphen
The cloth stained with blood, that we should not hesitate to spill ours for the good of Masonry.The Mysteries of Free Masonry|William Morgan
He goes around holding one hand in the other as if he were afraid he'd spill it!Quin|Alice Hegan Rice
verb spills, spilling, spilt or spilled (mainly tr)
Word Origin for spill
Word Origin for spill
Old English spillan "destroy, kill," variant of spildan, from Proto-Germanic *spelthijanan (cf. Old High German spildan "to spill," Old Saxon spildian, Old Norse spilla "to destroy," Middle Dutch spillen "to waste"), from PIE *spel- "to split, break off" (cf. Middle Dutch spalden, Old High German spaltan "to split;" for further cognates, see spoil). Related: Spilled; spilling.
Sense of "let (liquid) fall or run out" developed mid-14c. from use of the word in reference to shedding blood (early 12c.). Intransitive sense is from 1650s. Spill the beans recorded by 1910 in a sense of "spoil the situation;" to cry for spilt milk (usually with negative) is attested from 1738.
1845, originally "a throw from a horse," from spill (v.).
In addition to the idiom beginning with spill
- spill the beans
- shed (spill) blood
- take a spill