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From Middle English forspillen, from Old English forspillan, forspildan (to waste, lose, disperse, bring to nothing, destroy, ruin, kill), equivalent to for- +‎ spill. Cognate with Old High German farspildan, Dutch verspillen (to waste).


forspill (third-person singular simple present forspills, present participle forspilling, simple past and past participle forspilled)

  1. (transitive) To destroy; ruin; lose.
    • 1898, Omar Khayyam, John Payne, Villon Society, The quatrains of Omar Kheyyam of Nishapour:
      In fine, all these treasures, like snow on the wold, Three days lain, then to nothing forspilled, suppose.
    • 2011, Hafiz, John Payne, The Collected Poems of Hafiz:
      In questing for the talisman That ruled the wished-for treasure, The world on me, for grief of her, Was all forspilled; and 'twas not.