See more synonyms for spoiler on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person or thing that spoils.
  2. a person who robs or ravages; despoiler; plunderer.
  3. Aeronautics. a device used to break up the airflow around an aerodynamic surface, as an aircraft wing, in order to slow the movement through the air or to decrease the lift on the surface and, as a result, provide bank or descent control.
  4. Automotive. a similar device for changing the airflow past a moving vehicle, often having the form of a transverse fin or blade mounted at the front or rear to reduce lift and increase traction at high speeds.
  5. Sports. a team out of final contention that defeats a potential or favored contender and thereby thwarts its chances of winning a championship.
  6. any competitor, entrant, or candidate who has no chance of ultimate victory but does well enough to spoil the chances of another.
  7. information about a plot or event in a movie, book, or show that may spoil the suspense or surprise: Spoilers were leaked before the movie was released. Spoiler alert! Do not read further if you haven't already seen the season finale.

Origin of spoiler

First recorded in 1525–35; spoil + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spoiler

Contemporary Examples of spoiler

Historical Examples of spoiler

  • And what the Spoiler has spared, the self-styled Restorer has too often ruined.


    Beatrice Fortescue

  • Fortunately, thus far, the Mondino Tablet has escaped the spoiler.

  • Is there any one in the world who can flatter himself that he has escaped the spoiler?

  • I will not ride by the side of the Saxon to the feet of Edward, the son of the spoiler.

    Harold, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Then, the spoiler, prompted by a ravenous maw, alleged a pretext for a quarrel.

British Dictionary definitions for spoiler


  1. plunderer or robber
  2. a person or thing that causes spoilage or corruption
  3. a device fitted to an aircraft wing to increase drag and reduce lift. It is usually extended into the airflow to assist descent and bankingCompare air brake (def. 2)
  4. a similar device fitted to a car
  5. sport a competitor who adopts spoiling tactics, as in boxing
  6. a magazine, newspaper, etc produced specifically to coincide with the production of a rival magazine, newspaper, etc in order to divert public interest and reduce its sales
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 spoiler

1530s, "one who robs or plunders," agent noun from spoil. Meaning "one who mars another's chance at victory" is attested from 1950 in U.S. politics, perhaps from boxing. Aeronautics sense is from 1928, because it destroys the "lift" on the plane; transferred to structures serving a similar purpose on speedboats (1957) and motor vehicles (1963). Meaning "information about the plot of a movie, etc., which might 'spoil' it for one who has not seen it" is attested by 1982.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper