to the victor belong the spoils

to the victor belong the spoils

The winner is entitled to all of the rewards, bonuses, or benefits of success. (A variation of "to the victor go the spoils.") John won the betting pool, so he gets the whole pot of money from those who paid in. To the victor belong the spoils! A lot of other contestants on the singing competition are well worthy of signing a record deal, but to the victor belong the spoils.
See also: belong, spoil, victor

To the victors belong the spoils.

Prov. The winners achieve power over people and property. The mayor took office and immediately fired many workers and hired new ones. Everyone said, "To the victors belong the spoils."
See also: belong, spoil, victor

to the victor belong the spoils

The winner gets everything, as in He not only won the tournament but ended up with numerous lucrative endorsements-to the victor belong the spoils . This expression alludes to the spoils system of American politics, whereby the winner of an election gives desirable jobs to party supporters. [First half of 1800s]
See also: belong, spoil, victor

to the victor belong the spoils

Winner gets all. The Roman historians frequently mentioned spolia optima—very best spoils—which actually referred to the personal spoils of the enemy’s general when slain by the opposing commander. The current cliché became popular long after that and was frequently used in connection with the spoils system in American politics (whereby the winning party gives desirable posts to its supporters) by Senators William Marcy (1832), Huey Long (1934), and others. Justice William J. Brennan used it in writing the 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision against political patronage: “To the victor belong only those spoils that may be constitutionally obtained” (Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois, 88-1872).
See also: belong, spoil, victor
References in periodicals archive ?
To the victor belong the spoils (and not the spoilage)
As they say, to the victor belong the spoils. But, what happens when their plans don't go as intended, or when other needy men get wind of their money-making strategy?
"To the victor belong the spoils," Trump said on Saturday while speaking at the CIA headquarters.
To the victor belong the spoils, etc., and Hutchinson has begun naming the directors of top state agencies--those new, those he's asking to stay and those who are being shown the door.
In South Sudan, if at all there is anything that resembles justice to pursue, the dispute is left entirely among the feuding parties to settle it the ancient style by battling it out, where "to the victor belong the spoils." The recent spikes of ethnic violences and lawlessness in the country clearly illustrate this point.
James Doherty, a New Hampshire Democrat, said, "It is my personal belief that to the victor belong the spoils and that Democrats should be holding most of these [WPA] positions so that we might strengthen our fences for the 1940 election." One WPA director in New Jersey--a corrupt, but candid, man--answered his office phone, "Democratic Headquarters."
"To the victor belong the spoils" (originally a statement about political good-ole'-boy favoritism) is a "philosophy" of power that gives us what I'll call the Winner's Pick category ("spoils system" is already taken.) In these cases history and revisionism give us the victor's view of the conflict--name and all.
After all, to the victor belong the spoils. Can it be true that only the hardest, toughest and meanest negotiator will be the most successful?