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[spil] /spɪl/

verb (used with object), spilled or spilt, spilling.
to cause or allow to run or fall from a container, especially accidentally or wastefully:
to spill a bag of marbles; to spill milk.
to shed (blood), as in killing or wounding.
to scatter:
to spill papers all over everything.

to cause to fall from a horse, vehicle, or the like:
His horse spilled him.
Informal. to divulge, disclose, or tell:
Don’t spill the secret.
verb (used without object), spilled or spilt, spilling.
(of a liquid, loose particles, etc.) to run or escape from a container, especially by accident or in careless handling.
a spilling, as of liquid.
a quantity spilled.
the mark made by something spilled.
a .
Also called spill light. superfluous or useless light rays, as from theatrical or photographic lighting units.
Theater. an area of a stage illuminated by spill light.
a throw or fall from a horse, vehicle, or the like:
She broke her arm in a spill.
spill the beans. (def 11).
verb (mainly transitive) spills, spilling, spilt, spilled
when intr, usually foll by from, out of, etc. to fall or cause to fall from or as from a container, esp unintentionally
to disgorge (contents, occupants, etc) or (of contents, occupants, etc) to be disgorged: the car spilt its passengers onto the road, the crowd spilt out of the theatre
to shed (blood)
(informal) Also spill the beans. to disclose something confidential
(nautical) to let (wind) escape from a sail or (of the wind) to escape from a sail
(informal) a fall or tumble
short for spillway
a spilling of liquid, etc, or the amount spilt
(Austral) the declaring of several political jobs vacant when one higher up becomes so: the Prime Minister’s resignation could mean a Cabinet spill
a splinter of wood or strip of twisted paper with which pipes, fires, etc, are lit
a small peg or rod made of metal

Old English spillan “destroy, kill,” variant of spildan, from Proto-Germanic *spelthijanan (cf. Old High German spildan “to spill,” Old Saxon spildian, Old Norse spilla “to destroy,” Middle Dutch spillen “to waste”), from PIE *spel- “to split, break off” (cf. Middle Dutch spalden, Old High German spaltan “to split;” for further cognates, see spoil). Related: Spilled; spilling.

Sense of “let (liquid) fall or run out” developed mid-14c. from use of the word in reference to shedding blood (early 12c.). Intransitive sense is from 1650s. Spill the beans recorded by 1910 in a sense of “spoil the situation;” to cry for spilt milk (usually with negative) is attested from 1738.

1845, originally “a throw from a horse,” from spill (v.).


A hypodermic needle (1934+ Narcotics)


[all senses fr spike, ”large nail,” hence ”sharp point”; the sense ”to reject” may be fr the earlier phrase spike a gun, ”render a cannon useless by driving a spike into the touchhole,” or fr the notion of dealing with a paper, bill, manuscript, etc, by impaling it on a spindle or spindle file]
In addition to the idiom beginning with


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