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How to pronounce despoil (audio)


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Dictionary definition of despoil

To plunder, loot, or forcibly take away valuable possessions, resources, or assets from a person, place, or entity.
"The invaders seek to despoil the ancient temple of its treasures."

Detailed meaning of despoil

It implies a destructive and often malicious act aimed at stripping someone or something of their wealth, dignity, or natural beauty. 'Despoil' is typically used to describe actions that involve theft, pillaging, or the wanton destruction of property, often in a violent or harmful manner. It underscores the idea of taking something by force or through illicit means, resulting in harm or loss to the victim. Whether it's a marauding army despoiling a village, or environmental factors despoiling a pristine landscape, this term signifies the act of causing damage and devastation through the unlawful acquisition or destruction of valuable assets.

Example sentences containing despoil

1. The greedy corporation will despoil the rainforest if not stopped.
2. They fear the construction project might despoil the natural beauty of the area.
3. The developers plan to despoil the countryside with their new industrial complex.
4. We must act now to prevent companies from continuing to despoil the environment.
5. The ruthless pirates aimed to despoil the coastal village of its valuables.
6. When left unchecked, mining activities can despoil the land and pollute water sources.

History and etymology of despoil

The verb 'despoil' has an etymology that reflects the act of forcibly taking valuable possessions. It comes from the Old French word 'despoillier,' which is a variation of the Latin word 'spoliare.' In Latin, 'spoliare' meant 'to strip of,' 'to plunder,' or 'to rob of clothing or armor.' This term was often used in the context of military conquest, where the victors would strip the defeated of their valuables, including clothing and armor. Over time, 'despoil' came to describe the act of plundering, looting, or forcibly taking away valuable possessions, resources, or assets from a person, place, or entity. The etymology of 'despoil' underscores its historical association with the idea of stripping away or robbing, emphasizing the forceful and often invasive nature of such actions.

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Further usage examples of despoil

1. Environmental groups are fighting against the proposed pipeline, fearing it will despoil the local ecosystems.
2. Local residents protested the plan to despoil the park with unnecessary construction.
3. The art thief managed to despoil the museum of its most prized possession.
4. With no regard for the consequences, they sought to despoil the ancient burial site.
5. The community came together to stop a company from attempting to despoil their beloved forest.
6. Their goal was to despoil the enemy’s base and seize valuable resources.
7. The corrupt officials intended to despoil the national treasury for personal gain.
8. We should educate others about the negative impacts of actions that despoil the Earth.
9. The conquerors will despoil the land if they are not met with resistance.
10. The overfishing in the area threatens to despoil the sea of its rich biodiversity.
11. Activists are urging the government to take steps to prevent companies from continuing to despoil the river.
12. The rapid expansion of urban areas is beginning to despoil the surrounding countryside.
13. The excessive logging operations despoil the forest of its trees and disrupt the habitats of countless animals.
14. The church was despoiled of its famous ancient tapestry.



plunder, protect, preserve, respect


Decline and Disintegrate, Fear and Ferocity, Destruction and Devastation

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