a boxer who spars with and otherwise serves to train a boxer who is preparing for a bout.
a person who serves to sharpen and expand one’s thinking through frequent friendly debate: This provocative political writer was the frequent sparring partner of a popular talk show host on TV.
- Also called spar·ring mate [spahr-ing meyt] /ˈspɑr ɪŋ ˌmeɪt/ .
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use sparring partner in a sentence
Be a sparring partner for someone who is unsure of their assumptions and audits.
At the very least, he would make a thoughtful and high-minded sparring partner for Clinton in the debates that lie ahead.Wait a Minute, Clinton Coronators—Here Comes Jim Webb | Eleanor Clift | September 24, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Mark Jacobson | March 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
SMUG is willing to fight it out and has a willing sparring partner in Lively, who has been sued five times by gay activists.
She was with her on most of the major swims of the 1970s, is a friend, adviser, and sparring partner.
He had had no sparring partner, and his food had not been of the best nor always sufficient.When God Laughs and Other Stories | Jack London
Bit thick, I mean to say, a sparring-partner going at him like that.The Adventures of Sally | P. G. Wodehouse
Then he was a sparring partner, I think they call it, for a prizefighter.The Efficiency Expert | Edgar Rice Burroughs
He's been sparring partner of one of the champions and he thinks a good deal of himself.Paradise Garden | George Gibbs
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
British Dictionary definitions for 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
Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.