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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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.despoilment - the act of stripping and taking by force
pillaging, plundering, pillage - the act of stealing valuable things from a place; "the plundering of the Parthenon"; "his plundering of the great authors"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Facing both death and despoilment of his treasure, the Belgian cast about for some plan of escape, and the only one that appealed to him as containing even a remote possibility of success hinged upon the chance of bribing Achmet Zek.
Author of more than 15 poetry and essay collections, Oliver wrote brief, direct pieces that sang of her worship of the outdoors and disdain for greed, despoilment and other human crimes.
Now, your speaker tonight is envying you -- and at the same time he is praising your wisdom to have come with your award ceremony to one of the countries of Europe already taken over by a higher stage of despoilment.Your precious prizes honoring quality journalism are truly meaningful in a country which is, by now, beyond the mere spreading of politically motivated fake news.
Now, millions have watched Blue Planet and shuddered at the scale of the despoilment of habitats.
In Green Hills of Africa, as in a noir film, Hemingway begins by investigating Africa as a neutral outsider but comes to realize that he himself is implicated in its despoilment: "Our people went to America.
However their ownership highly concentrated in state hands gives their largest or unique shareholder a substantial discretionary power to use the firm's resources; there from emerges more serious issues of insider control and possible minority shareholder despoilment than after Russian privatisations (Andreff, 2005).
My attempt to describe the volume replicates its history, in certain respects--from Bouland's despoilment of her skin, to the desire of collectors for this oddity, and to its current placement in a rare book repository.
On the other hand, because hunter-gatherer communities subsisted off the current offerings of nature, were dependent on seasonal cycles of regeneration, and produced virtually no surplus, the severe ecological disruption and despoilment caused by invading commercial stock farmers represented an immediate and acute threat to their foundations of life.
All are entitled to use it without monopoly, usurpation, despoilment, wastage, or abuse.
They also imply Mackay Brown's own belief that life on the island has long been headed toward despoilment, a process that Black Star merely accelerates.