9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[spoi-ler] /ˈspɔɪ lər/
a person or thing that spoils.
a person who robs or ravages; despoiler; plunderer.
Aeronautics. a device used to break up the airflow around an aerodynamic surface, as an aircraft wing, in order to slow the movement through the air or to decrease the lift on the surface and, as a result, provide bank or descent control.
Automotive. a similar device for changing the airflow past a moving vehicle, often having the form of a transverse fin or blade mounted at the front or rear to reduce lift and increase traction at high speeds.
Sports. a team out of final contention that defeats a potential or favored contender and thereby thwarts its chances of winning a championship.
any competitor, entrant, or candidate who has no chance of ultimate victory but does well enough to spoil the chances of another.
Origin of spoiler
1525-35; spoil + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for spoilers
  • If you haven't seen last night's show yet, this might contain spoilers.
  • After all, both movements remain powerful potential spoilers.
  • Heading the list of potential spoilers is the rest of the world.
  • And the list of potential spoilers is uncomfortably similar to that of a year ago.
  • Even so, support for this crew of unelected spoilers has been rising.
  • Thanks for totally destroying the movie for those who haven't yet watched it with all your spoilers.
  • The clearest cases of such transnational state-spoilers concern the drug trade.
  • But despite the best efforts of a handful of spoilers, the responsibility to protect is alive and well.
  • Call them spoilers, losers going nowhere or teams playing out the string.
  • Obviously, if you're in my boat, you won't read the comments for spoilers.
British Dictionary definitions for spoilers


plunderer or robber
a person or thing that causes spoilage or corruption
a device fitted to an aircraft wing to increase drag and reduce lift. It is usually extended into the airflow to assist descent and banking Compare air brake (sense 2)
a similar device fitted to a car
(sport) a competitor who adopts spoiling tactics, as in boxing
a magazine, newspaper, etc produced specifically to coincide with the production of a rival magazine, newspaper, etc in order to divert public interest and reduce its sales
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for spoilers



1530s, "one who robs or plunders," agent noun from spoil. Meaning "one who mars another's chance at victory" is attested from 1950 in U.S. politics, perhaps from boxing. Aeronautics sense is from 1928, because it destroys the "lift" on the plane; transferred to structures serving a similar purpose on speedboats (1957) and motor vehicles (1963). Meaning "information about the plot of a movie, etc., which might 'spoil' it for one who has not seen it" is attested by 1982.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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