spill

1
[spil]

verb (used with object), spilled or spilt, spill·ing.

verb (used without object), spilled or spilt, spill·ing.

(of a liquid, loose particles, etc.) to run or escape from a container, especially by accident or in careless handling.

noun


Idioms

    spill the beans. bean(def 11).
    spill/toss one's cookies. cookie(def 7).

Origin of spill

1
before 950; 1920–25 for def 6; Middle English spillen to kill, destroy, shed (blood), Old English spillan to kill; cognate with Middle High German, Middle Dutch spillen; akin to spoil
Related formsspill·a·ble, adjective, nounnon·spill·a·ble, adjectiveun·spilled, adjective

spill

2
[spil]

noun

a splinter.
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.
Mining. forepole.

Origin of spill

2
1250–1300; Middle English spille < ?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for spill

Contemporary Examples of spill

Historical Examples of spill


British Dictionary definitions for spill

spill

1

verb spills, spilling, spilt or spilled (mainly tr)

(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 disgorgedthe 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

noun

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 sothe Prime Minister's resignation could mean a Cabinet spill
Derived Formsspiller, noun

Word Origin for spill

Old English spillan to destroy; related to spildan, Old High German spaltan to split; see spoil

spill

2

noun

a splinter of wood or strip of twisted paper with which pipes, fires, etc, are lit
a small peg or rod made of metal

Word Origin for spill

C13: of Germanic origin; compare Old High German spilla, Middle Dutch spile stake
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

Word Origin and History for spill
v.

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.

n.

1845, originally "a throw from a horse," from spill (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with spill

spill

In addition to the idiom beginning with spill

  • spill the beans

also see:

  • 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.