unspoil (verb)

swift

Senior Member
Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
Term: (A word or expression you have seen in writing)

unspoil verb (transitive)

Your definition or explanation:

1. To undo the effect of spoiling. 2. (Usually speaking of children) To undo the effect of over-indulgence in.

Example: (An example of the term in use)

Better than unspoiling your children is not spoiling them at all.

One or more places you have seen the term: (Please give URLs/links to web pages, or a full description of a print publication.)

Sense 1
Charlie Wilson's war is now everyone's war -- and, thankfully, we can unspoil an awful ending.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rob-asghar/pakistans-new-refugees-ca_b_223491.html
A 18th century example :D

"Why, all my things are spoilt; and what's worse, my sacque was as good as new."

[...]

"M. Du Bois," said I, "will, I am sure, be very sorry when he hears what has happened."

"And what good will that do now?-that won't unspoil all my clothes [...]"

Fanny Burney. Evelina, Or, the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World. 1778.
Sense 2

Be a good role model Your kids are sponges. They learn by watching you. So if you're trying to unspoil them, you must lead by example.

http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/01/pf/spoiled_kids.moneymag/index.htm?section=money_topstories
Have you looked for this term or meaning in dictionaries, and not found it? Yes :tick:

Found only in the Century Dictionary:


To undo or destroy the effect of spoiling or over-indulgence in; cure of being spoiled or over-indulged.
 
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  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hullo Don Swifty. Just a tiddlypiddly problem in that this is in the full OED (sense 1): it even gives exactly the same quote from Evelina:(

    Still, maybe sense 2 is new: I've certainly never heard it:)
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
    Oh~:( I 'discovered', so to speak, the second sense this morning but I wouldn't say it's new... I guess sense 1 (as it appears in Evelina) is rare nowadays.

    :) Nice to see you, don Ewie.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Actually, Swifty, I've just noticed that the only other quotation the OED gives could well be an instance of sense 2:
    ‘I am quite spoiled, I believe,’ said Helen; ‘you must unspoil me’.
    From Helen (1834) by Maria Edgeworth. I don't know the book so can't say if Helen's spoilt-brat-spoilt or some-other-spoilt.
     

    swift

    Senior Member
    Spanish – Costa Rica (Valle Central)
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It seems that this word has the obvious meaning of prefix + x.
    If that is the case, are there criteria for determining if it deserves a separate entry?
     
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