- a simple past tense and past participle of spill1.
- 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.
- a spillway.
- Also called spill light. 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.
Origin of spill1
Related Words for spiltsprinkle, stream, squirt, flow, pour, dribble, spray, splash, discharge, overflow, scatter, empty, blow, shed, run, disgorge, splatter, upset, drip, lose
Examples from the Web for spilt
Contemporary Examples of spilt
Communities were spilt into smaller and smaller units, while signs in villages warned against speaking Circassian in public areas.The Lost Tribe Of Sochi
February 9, 2014
Historical Examples of spilt
At dinner she shook and jerked and spilt things worse than ever.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
It was this monster that had spilt the pool of blood drying on the floor, near the door.The Pygmy Planet
John Stewart Williamson
He gulped down a mouthful, and some of it was spilt on his shirt-front.The Moon and Sixpence
W. Somerset Maugham
A minie drew some blood from me—not much, and spilt in a good cause.The Long Roll
Just then Jowler dropped the basket and spilt her huckleberries.Little Ferns For Fanny's Little Friends
- a past tense and past participle of spill 1
- (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
- 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
Word Origin for spill
- 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
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