from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cause or allow (a substance) to run or fall out of a container.
  • intransitive verb To scatter (objects) from containment.
  • intransitive verb To shed (blood).
  • intransitive verb To relieve the pressure of wind on (a sail).
  • intransitive verb To cause or allow (wind) to be lost from a sail.
  • intransitive verb To cause to fall.
  • intransitive verb Informal To disclose (something previously unknown); divulge.
  • intransitive verb To run or fall out of a container or containment.
  • intransitive verb To come to the ground suddenly and involuntarily.
  • intransitive verb To pour out or spread beyond limits.
  • noun The act of spilling.
  • noun An amount spilled.
  • noun A fall, as from a horse.
  • noun A spillway.
  • noun A piece of wood or rolled paper used to light a fire.
  • noun A small peg or rod, especially one used as a plug; a spile.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To inlay, diversify, or piece out with spills, splinters, or chips; cover with small patches resembling spills. In the quotation it denotes inlaying with small pieces of ivory.
  • noun A splinter; a chip.
  • noun A little bar or pin; a peg.
  • noun A slip or strip of wood or paper meant for use as a lamplighter.
  • noun A small peg or pin for stopping a cask; a spile: as, a vent-hole stopped with a spill.
  • noun The spindle of a spinning-wheel.
  • noun A trifling sum of money; a small fee.
  • noun A throw or fall, as from a saddle or a vehicle.
  • noun A downpour; a flood.
  • To brace or stay a drift or adit with piles.
  • noun plural The thin layers or filaments of cinder in wrought-iron bars of poor quality due to imperfect working of the metal in squeezer, hammer, or roll treatment.
  • To destroy; kill; slay.
  • To injure; mar; spoil; ruin.
  • To waste; squander; spend.
  • To suffer or cause to flow out or become lost; shed: used especially of blood, as in wilful killing.
  • To suffer to fall or run out accidentally and wastefully, and not as by pouring: said of fluids or of substances in fine grains or powder, such as flour or sand: as, to spill wine; to spill salt.
  • To let out; let leak out; divulge: said of matters concealed.
  • Nautical, to discharge the wind from, as from the belly of a sail, in order to furl or reef it.
  • To throw, as from the saddle or a vehicle; overthrow.
  • Synonyms Splash, etc. See slop.
  • To kill; slay; destroy; spread ruin.
  • To come to ruin or destruction; perish; die.
  • To be wasteful or prodigal.
  • To run out and become shed or wasted.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To be destroyed, ruined, or wasted; to come to ruin; to perish; to waste.
  • intransitive verb To be shed; to run over; to fall out, and be lost or wasted.
  • transitive verb obsolete To cover or decorate with slender pieces of wood, metal, ivory, etc.; to inlay.
  • noun Obs. or Prov. Eng. A bit of wood split off; a splinter.
  • noun A slender piece of anything.
  • noun A peg or pin for plugging a hole, as in a cask; a spile.
  • noun A metallic rod or pin.
  • noun A small roll of paper, or slip of wood, used as a lamplighter, etc.
  • noun (Mining) One of the thick laths or poles driven horizontally ahead of the main timbering in advancing a level in loose ground.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English spillen, to shed blood, to spill, from Old English spillan, to kill.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English spille.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English spillan.


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