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).]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
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