despoil

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Related to despoils: pillaging

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 classic literature ?
He slew him, but did not for very shame despoil him; when he had burned him in his wondrous armour, he raised a barrow over his ashes and the mountain nymphs, daughters of aegis-bearing Jove, planted a grove of elms about his tomb.
It was a matter of public knowledge, they said, that after the conquest of King William, his Norman followers, elated by so great a victory, acknowledged no law but their own wicked pleasure, and not only despoiled the conquered Saxons of their lands and their goods, but invaded the honour of their wives and of their daughters with the most unbridled license; and hence it was then common for matrons and maidens of noble families to assume the veil, and take shelter in convents, not as called thither by the vocation of God, but solely to preserve their honour from the unbridled wickedness of man.
But one day the chance was lost forever, in so far as it could come in time to save his loved ones, for he was ordered away upon a long expedition to the ice-clad south, to make war upon the natives there and despoil them of their furs, for such is the manner of the green Barsoomian; he does not labor for what he can wrest in battle from others.
West Midlands UK Independence Party MEP Mike Nattrass added: "This proposed line despoils our countryside for no good reason and there are alternative routes which can be upgraded at far less cost."
Inappropriate disposal despoils our countryside, pollutes waterways and harms wildlife.
It despoils landscape by trampling local democracy.
Such unacceptable behaviour despoils a great natural attraction, so well done to the Clean Tyne Project and its volunteers who've collected two tonnes of riverside rubbish.
It is true that the tragic sight of cattle funeral pyres no longer despoils the countryside in quite the same way.