verb (used with object) British.

  1. Military. to overwhelm; surprise and destroy, disable, or massacre.
  2. Informal. to prevent from happening or succeeding; ruin; wreck.


  1. nautical a drain or spout allowing water on the deck of a vessel to flow overboard
  2. an opening in the side of a building for draining off water
  3. a drain in a factory floor for running off the water from a sprinkler system

verb (tr) British

  1. slang to overwhelm, ruin, or disable
  2. to sink (one’s ship) deliberately

n.“opening in a ship’s side at deck level to let the water flow out,” early 15c., perhaps from Old French escopir “to spit out,” or related to Dutch schop “shovel,” or from Middle English scope “scoop” (see scoop (n.)).

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