• synonyms


[spoh-lee-ey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for spoliation on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act or an instance of plundering or despoiling.
  2. authorized plundering of neutrals at sea in time of war.
  3. Law. the destruction or material alteration of a bill of exchange, will, or the like.
  4. the act of spoiling or damaging something.
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Origin of spoliation

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin spoliātiōn- (stem of spoliātiō), equivalent to spoliāt(us) (past participle of spoliāre to spoil; see -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for spoliation

abuse, infection, corruption, deterioration, abduction, maltreatment, violation, molestation, invasion, assault, mistreatment, pollution, destruction, contagion, disease, epidemic, poisoning, wasting, confusion, desolation

Examples from the Web for spoliation

Historical Examples of spoliation

  • Her ruse of spoliation within the law was evidence of her shrewdness, nothing more.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Ages of spoliation and cruelty and wrong had done their work.

    A Short History of Spain

    Mary Platt Parmele

  • We believed this policy to be our only safeguard from spoliation, and in that we were right.

  • Yet the spoliation on the spot was emphasized and even put first in the demand.

  • The only difference is that Spoliation has changed her agent.

British Dictionary definitions for spoliation


  1. the act or an instance of despoiling or plundering
  2. the authorized seizure or plundering of neutral vessels on the seas by a belligerent state in time of war
  3. law the material alteration of a document so as to render it invalid
  4. English ecclesiastical law the taking of the fruits of a benefice by a person not entitled to them
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Derived Formsspoliatory, adjective

Word Origin for spoliation

C14: from Latin spoliātiō, from spoliāre to spoil
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 spoliation


c.1400, from Latin spoliationem (nominative spoliatio) "a robbing, plundering, pillaging," noun of action from spoliare "to plunder, rob" (see spoil).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper