Pronunciation Verb

spill (spills, present participle spilling; past and past participle spilled)

  1. (transitive) To drop something so that it spreads out or makes a mess; to accidentally pour.
    I spilled some sticky juice on the kitchen floor.
  2. (intransitive) To spread out or fall out, as above.
    Some sticky juice spilled onto the kitchen floor.
    • He was so topful of himself, that he let it spill on all the company.
  3. (transitive) To drop something that was intended to be caught.
  4. To mar; to damage; to destroy by misuse; to waste.
    • They [the colours] disfigure the stuff and spill the whole workmanship.
    • Spill not the morning, the quintessence of day, in recreations.
  5. (obsolete) To be destroyed, ruined, or wasted; to come to ruin; to perish; to waste.
    • That thou wilt suffer innocents to spill.
  6. To cause to flow out and be lost or wasted; to shed.
    • to revenge his blood so justly spilt
  7. To cover or decorate with slender pieces of wood, metal, ivory, etc.; to inlay.
  8. (nautical) To relieve a sail from the pressure of the wind, so that it can be more easily reefed or furled, or to lessen the strain.
  9. (transitive, Australian politics) To open the leadership of a parliamentary party for re-election.
  10. (transitive) To reveal information to an uninformed party.
    He spilled his guts out to his new psychologist.
  11. (of a knot). To come undone.
Translations Translations
  • Russian: пролива́ться

spill (plural spills)

  1. (countable) A mess of something that has been dropped.
  2. A fall or stumble.
    The bruise is from a bad spill he had last week.
  3. A small stick or piece of paper used to light a candle, cigarette etc by the transfer of a flame from a fire.
    • 2008, Elizabeth Bear, Ink and Steel: A Novel of the Promethean Age:
      Kit froze with the pipe between his teeth, the relit spill pressed to the weed within it.
  4. A slender piece of anything.
    1. A peg or pin for plugging a hole, as in a cask; a spile.
    2. A metallic rod or pin.
  5. (mining) One of the thick laths or poles driven horizontally ahead of the main timbering in advancing a level in loose ground.
  6. (sound recording) The situation where sound is picked up by a microphone from a source other than that which is intended.
  7. (obsolete) A small sum of money.
  8. (Australian politics) A declaration that the leadership of a parliamentary party is vacant, and open for re-election. Short form of leadership spill.

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