Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to despoiling: plundered, pillaging, looted


tr.v. de·spoiled, de·spoil·ing, de·spoils
1. To deprive of something valuable, especially by force; rob: The invaders despoiled the town of its art treasures. He was despoiled of his inheritance by crooked lawyers.
2. To ruin, especially by destroying or removing what is valuable: "a landscape that had been raped and despoiled by coal mining" (George Black).

[Middle English despoilen, from Old French despoillier, from Latin dēspoliāre : dē-, de- + spoliāre, to plunder (from spolium, booty).]

de·spoil′er n.
de·spoil′ment n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


plundering by force
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in classic literature ?
A shower of snow fell upon them, and, finding the Olive full of foliage, it settled upon its branches and broke them down with its weight, at once despoiling it of its beauty and killing the tree.
[USA], Apr 4 (ANI): Summers step in despoiling the hard-earned beauty which is why SPF moisturisers and sunscreens become the best friend of a woman.
Blinded by business tax rake-off, councils are despoiling high streets with a mono-culture of flashy, trendy outlets.
We have a huge problem with north-south travel, but for me what we don't want is a new motorway or railway despoiling our wonderful countryside.
despoiling. And everything matters because of what could be done.
Perhaps Farnley Estates can give some indication of which substantial green belt areas are likely to be proposed for large-scale development in their continuing intents on despoiling the peaceful rural surrounding Farnley Tyas.
When I thought of all the turbines we have on Anglesey (over 80 and increasing in size) I wondered 'Who sold Wales?' Who has benefited from the proliferation of pylons and the despoiling of the countryside?
As Yael Melamede's documentary notes, various bendings of the truth have among other things recently led us into war, crashed the economy, and allowed potentially catastrophic despoiling of the planet to continue more or less unchecked.
If you have ever visited a wadi in the UAE and enjoyed its beauty and the diversity of its flora and fauna, you would agree that despoiling its pristine and invaluable environs is a travesty that ought to come with punitive measures.
Far more objectionable, in my view, is the despoiling of the outfield at the Ageas Bowl by a large advert for the match sponsor.
AS a regular visitor over many years to your unique part of the world, I am compelled to write in support of the protest against the impending disaster of the potential imposition of countless wind generators, thus despoiling the rural idyll so much appreciated by thousands of likeminded people who come to enjoy the unspoilt beauty, the almost spiritual calmness, the step back in time to the days when the rest of England was like this.