The postelection practice of rewarding loyal supporters of the winning candidates and party with appointive public offices. or patronage system In U.S. politics, the practice by political parties of rewarding partisans and workers after winning an election. Proponents claim it helps maintain an active party organization by offering supporters jobs and contracts. Critics charge that it awards appointments to the unqualified and is inefficient because even jobs unrelated to public policy change hands after an election. In the U.S., the Pendleton Civil Service Act (1883) was the first step in introducing the merit system in the hiring of government workers. The merit system has almost completely replaced the spoils system. See also civil service
the act of stripping and taking by force the act of spoiling something by causing damage to it; "her spoiling my dress was deliberate" (usually plural) valuables taken by violence (especially in war); "to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy" become unfit for consumption or use; "the meat must be eaten before it spoils
If you spoil yourself or spoil another person, you give yourself or them something nice as a treat or do something special for them. Spoil yourself with a new perfume this summer Perhaps I could employ someone to iron his shirts, but I wanted to spoil him. He was my man. = pamper
If someone spoils their vote, they write something illegal on their voting paper, usually as a protest about the election, and their vote is not accepted. They had broadcast calls for voters to spoil their ballot papers = deface
If you spoil children, you give them everything they want or ask for. This is considered to have a bad effect on a child's character. Grandparents are often tempted to spoil their grandchildren whenever they come to visit. + spoilt, spoiled spoilt, spoiled A spoilt child is rarely popular with other children Oh, that child. He's so spoiled
If you say that someone is spoilt for choice or spoiled for choice, you mean that they have a great many things of the same type to choose from. At lunchtime, MPs are spoilt for choice in 26 restaurants and bars
The spoils of something are things that people get as a result of winning a battle or of doing something successfully. True to military tradition, the victors are now treating themselves to the spoils of war
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