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spill - definition and synonyms


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verb spill pronunciation in American English /spɪl/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlespilling
past tensespilled or spilt
past participlespilled or spilt
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to accidentally pour a liquid out of its container
    spill something on/over someone/something:

    I spilled coffee all over my desk.

    1. a.
      [intransitive] to accidentally flow out of a container
      spill from:

      Oil is still spilling from the stricken ship.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] used about other substances and objects that fall out of a container, often not accidentally
      spill something out/over/onto etc.:

      She lifted the box and spilled toys out all over the carpet.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] mainly literary if light spills somewhere, a lot of it shines on something
  3. 3
    [intransitive] if people spill out of a place, a lot of them leave at the same time
    spill out of/from:

    Crowds were spilling out of the bars and restaurants.

phrasal verbs


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