[ spair ]
/ spɛər /
verb (used with object), spared, spar·ing.
to refrain from harming or destroying; leave uninjured; forbear to punish, hurt, or destroy: to spare one's enemy.
to deal gently or leniently with; show consideration for: His harsh criticism spared no one.
to save from strain, discomfort, embarrassment, or the like, or from a particular cause of it: to spare him the bother; to spare her needless embarrassment.
to refrain from, forbear, omit, or withhold, as action or speech: Spare us the gory details.
to refrain from employing, as some instrument or recourse: to spare the rod.
to set aside for a particular purpose: to spare land for a garden.
to give or lend, as from a supply, especially without inconvenience or loss: Can you spare a cup of sugar? Can you spare me a dollar till payday?
to dispense with or do without: We can't spare a single worker during the rush hour.
to use economically or frugally; refrain from using up or wasting: A walnut sundae, and don't spare the whipped cream!
to have remaining as excess or surplus: We can make the curtains and have a yard to spare.
verb (used without object), spared, spar·ing.
to use economy; be frugal.
to refrain from inflicting injury or punishment; exercise lenience or mercy.
Obsolete. to refrain from action; forbear.
adjective, spar·er, spar·est.
kept in reserve, as for possible use: a spare part.
being in excess of present need; free for other use: spare time.
frugally restricted or meager, as a manner of living or a diet: a spare regime.
lean or thin, as a person.
scanty or scant, as in amount or fullness.
economical, moderate, or temperate, as persons; sparing.
a spare thing, part, etc., as an extra tire for emergency use.
Ceramics. an area at the top of a plaster mold for holding excess slip.
- the knocking down of all the pins with two bowls.
- a score so made.Compare strike(def 69).
Words nearby spare
Origin of spare
before 900; (v.) Middle English sparen, Old English sparian; cognate with Dutch, German sparen, Old Norse spara; (noun and adj.) Middle English; compare Old English spær sparing, frugal (cognate with Old High German spar, Old Norse sparr
OTHER WORDS FROM spare
spare·a·ble, adjectivespare·ly, adverbspare·ness, nounspar·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for spareable
/ (spɛə) /
(tr) to refrain from killing, punishing, harming, or injuring
(tr) to release or relieve, as from pain, suffering, etc
(tr) to refrain from usingspare the rod, spoil the child
(tr) to be able to afford or giveI can't spare the time
(usually passive) (esp of Providence) to allow to surviveI'll see you again next year if we are spared
(intr) rare to act or live frugally
(intr) rare to show mercy
not spare oneself to exert oneself to the full
to spare more than is requiredtwo minutes to spare
(often immediately postpositive) in excess of what is needed; additionalare there any seats spare?
able to be used when neededa spare part
(of a person) thin and lean
scanty or meagre
(postpositive) British slang upset, angry, or distracted (esp in the phrase go spare)
a duplicate kept as a replacement in case of damage or loss
a spare tyre
- the act of knocking down all the pins with the two bowls of a single frame
- the score thus madeCompare strike (def. 40)
Derived forms of sparesparely, adverbspareness, nounsparer, noun
Word Origin for spare
Old English sparian to refrain from injuring; related to Old Norse spara, Old High German sparōn
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
Idioms and Phrases with spareable
In addition to the idioms beginning with spare
- spare the rod and spoil the child
- spare tire
- to spare
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.