sparring partner


a boxer who spars with and otherwise serves to train a boxer who is preparing for a bout.



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Also called sparring mate .

Origin of sparring partner

First recorded in 1905–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for sparring partner

  • Bit thick, I mean to say, a sparring-partner going at him like that.

    The Adventures of Sally|P. G. Wodehouse
  • It was the fact that Bugs Butler was lowering himself to extend his powers against a sparring-partner that shocked Mr. Burrowes.

    The Adventures of Sally|P. G. Wodehouse
  • And with this poor encouragement from his trainer and sparring-partner, Trevor was forced to be content.

    The Gold Bat|P. G. Wodehouse

British Dictionary definitions for sparring partner

sparring partner
/ (ˈspɑːrɪŋ) /


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

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.