- (transitive) To deprive for spoil; to take spoil from; to plunder; to rob; to pillage.
- a law which restored to them an immense domain of which they had been despoiled
- 2010, The Economist, 17 July, p.53:
- To dreamers in the West, Tibet is a Shangri-La despoiled by Chinese ruthlessness and rapacity.
- (transitive) To violently strip (someone), with indirect object of their possessions etc.; to rob.
1614, Sir Walter Raleigh, History of the World:
- The Earl of March, following the plain path which his father had trodden out, despoiled Henry the father, and Edward the son, both of their lives and kingdom.
- 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 9, 410-11:
- To intercept thy way, or send thee back / Despoiled of innocence, of faith, of bliss.
- 1849, Thomas Macaulay, History of England, Ch.20:
- A law which restored to them an immense domain of which they had been despoiled.
- (obsolete, transitive or reflexive) To strip (someone) of their clothes; to undress.
To deprive for spoil; to take spoil from; to plunder; to rob;
To violently strip (someone), with indirect object of their possessions etc.; to rob.
despoil (plural despoils)
- despoil in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- despoil in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913