- Nautical. a stout pole such as those used for masts, etc.; a mast, yard, boom, gaff, or the like.
- Aeronautics. a principal lateral member of the framework of a wing of an airplane.
- to provide or make with spars.
Origin of spar1
- (of boxers) to make the motions of attack and defense with the arms and fists, especially as a part of training.
- to box, especially with light blows.
- to strike or attack with the feet or spurs, as gamecocks do.
- to bandy words; dispute.
- a motion of sparring.
- a boxing match.
- a dispute.
Origin of spar2
Examples from the Web for sparring
Johansson needed a sparring partner, and a young, brash man, just a year out of the amateurs, volunteered.The Stacks: Harold Conrad Was Many Things, But He Was Never, Ever Dull
March 8, 2014
This is hugely dubious, but there was something distinctly theatrical about their sparring, two sides of one performance.Putin Needs an Enemy After Berezovsky’s Death
March 25, 2013
Rubio has been sparring with the president over immigration reform, among other issues.Marco Rubio Really Loves Israel and Has Pictures to Prove It
February 21, 2013
Tweeters snickered about the sparring to come between European leaders over who would collect the prize in person on Dec. 10.The EU Won What?! Europe Reacts to Nobel
October 12, 2012
Prosecutors and defense lawyers are sparring with leaked documents.Costa Concordia Legal Battle Gets Ugly
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 26, 2012
Could it be, I asked myself, that they were sparring for the possession of me?Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
They circled, facing each other like sparring gamecocks of a giant variety.The Spoilers of the Valley
He plied his companions with questions, sparring for more time.Frank Merriwell's Pursuit
Burt L. Standish
"'Twas this way," said Mr. Hennessy, sparring at Mr. Dooley.Mr. Dooley in Peace and in War
Finley Peter Dunne
Then she has to while away several hours (or days) sparring herself off.Life On The Mississippi, Complete
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
- any piece of nautical gear resembling a pole and used as a mast, boom, gaff, etc
- (as modifier)a spar buoy
- a principal supporting structural member of an aerofoil that runs from tip to tip or root to tip
- boxing martial arts to fight using light blows, as in training
- to dispute or argue
- (of gamecocks) to fight with the feet or spurs
- an unaggressive fight
- an argument or wrangle
- informal a close friend
- any of various minerals, such as feldspar or calcite, that are light-coloured, microcrystalline, transparent to translucent, and easily cleavableRelated adjective: spathic
Word Origin and History for sparring
"stout pole," c.1300, "rafter," from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch sparre, from Proto-Germanic *sparron (cf. Old English *spere "spear, lance," Old Norse sperra "rafter, beam"), from PIE root *sper- "spear, pole" (see spear (n.1)). Nautical use dates from 1640. Also borrowed in Old French as esparre, which may have been the direct source of the English word.
"to box," c.1400, "to strike or thrust," perhaps from Middle French esparer "to kick," from Italian sparare "to fling," from Latin ex- (see ex-) + parare "make ready, prepare," hence "ward off, parry" (see pare). Used in 17c. in reference to preliminary actions in a cock fight; figurative sense of "to dispute, bandy with words" is from 1690s. Extension to humans, with meaning "to engage in or practice boxing" is attested from 1755. Related: Sparred; sparring.
"shiny mineral that splits easily," 1580s, from Low German Spar, from Middle Low German *spar, sper, cognate with Old English spær- in spærstan "gypsum."