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sparring partner

a boxer who spars with and otherwise serves to train a boxer who is preparing for a bout.
Also called sparring mate.
Origin of sparring partner
First recorded in 1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sparring partner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He's been sparring partner of one of the champions and he thinks a good deal of himself.

    Paradise Garden George Gibbs
  • Then he was a sparring partner, I think they call it, for a prizefighter.

    The Efficiency Expert Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • He had had no sparring partner, and his food had not been of the best nor always sufficient.

British Dictionary definitions for sparring partner

sparring partner

a person who practises with a boxer during training
a person with whom one has friendly arguments
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with sparring partner

sparring partner

An individual with whom one enjoys arguing, as in Jim's my best sparring partner. This expression alludes to boxing, where since about 1900 it has denoted the person one practices or trains with. [ Mid-1900s ]
Also see: spar with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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