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despoil (something) of (something)

To rob something valuable from a particular place or thing. I can't believe that a thief despoiled the art museum of an original Picasso. It seems that someone despoiled the ancient tomb of its jewels before we got here.
See also: despoil, of

despoil something of something

to make something, such as a town, tomb, or building, lose value by stealing from it; to rob something of something. The vandals despoiled the castle of much of its furnishings. The land was despoiled of its fertility by overplanting.
See also: despoil, of
References in periodicals archive ?
While England was at one point dreaded by its enemies, the foreign gaze now reveals England to be effeminate and, implicitly, worthy of the despoilment of its commodities.
Clearly enamored of the culture it examines while resolutely remaining an outsider's romanticization of it, yarn is disappointingly content to recycle familiar attitudes about the nobility of ancient cultures, Western despoilment of them, liberal historical guilt, the unrestrainable greed of capitalists and the irreducible primacy of Hollywood movie stars.
Much of this money is "donated" in order to buy big-ticket items: the despoilment of the environment, the next generation of nuclear missiles, roadblocks in the path of generic arthritis and heart-attack medicines and the like.
In our annual Ten Worst Corporations of the Year feature, we try to highlight in stark terms the consequences of unrestrained corporations: despoilment of the natural environment, infliction of preventable disease on people, smashing of workers' democratically controlled unions, retaliation against the whistleblowers who seek to call attention to egregious corporate abuses, invasions of privacy, denial of care to the sick, needless endangering of consumers, and more.
imperialism of the Caribbean and Central America, the embargo of Iraq, economic injustice in this country and the despoilment of the earth.
By accepting free concessions granted by the government, the settlers participated in this despoilment.
Greater Los Angeles is no longer the wide-open west, so both county and city governments need to start taking a different approach to growth and despoilment of our environment.
I don't think it is a sexual rape you are talking about, but rather you are using rape as metaphor for the sense of outrage, abuse, violation, despoilment of your sense of who you are.
DeLillo want us to see the things beneath our eyes, right on the surface but below the fantasies we insist on looking at, ordinary life as it has expressed itself among the people of a nation involved in a prolonged technological fantasy war, a fifty-year piece of theater at the end of the twentieth century, played out in the masks of strategic nuclear weapons and machines of despoilment.
Ronje's act stands as a metaphor for the despoilment of an entire culture: "Ayoko is the symbolic Mother of Shavi.
There's a backlash against the overindulgence of the 1980s-the environmental despoilment and personal destruction," says one industry expert.
Widescale pollution and the despoilment of the environment are the inevitable results of failure to plan properly for and manage waste disposal.
These include the despoilment of the natural environment, infliction of preventable disease, the smashing of unions, invasions of privacy, corruption of democracy, and more.
Our Indian policy is a blot on the very name of Christianity, yet what Senator or what General proposes any change, except, perhaps, something a little more veiled and indirect in our inexorable system of despoilment and extermination?