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See more synonyms for unsparing on Thesaurus.com
  1. not sparing; liberal or profuse; excessive.
  2. unmerciful; harsh; severe.
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Origin of unsparing

First recorded in 1580–90; un-1 + sparing
Related formsun·spar·ing·ly, adverbun·spar·ing·ness, noun

Synonyms for unsparing

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for unsparing

ruthless, abundant, bountiful, extravagant, free, giving, hard, inexorable, liberal, munificent, openhanded, profuse, relentless, severe, unmerciful, procrustean, ungrudging

Examples from the Web for unsparing

Contemporary Examples of unsparing

Historical Examples of unsparing

  • Her unsparing tirade had provoked an outburst of laughter, but not from Robbie.

  • Very soon he was sleeping, snoring on the G string with unsparing pressure.

  • Slaves, as well as slaveholders, use it with an unsparing hand.

    My Bondage and My Freedom

    Frederick Douglass

  • But he was as indolent of mind as he was unsparing of his body.

    O Pioneers!

    Willa Cather

  • Only to one class of patient was he merciless and unsparing.

    The Dop Doctor

    Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

British Dictionary definitions for unsparing


  1. not sparing or frugal; lavish; profuse
  2. showing harshness or severity; unmerciful
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Derived Formsunsparingly, adverbunsparingness, noun
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

Word Origin and History for unsparing


"showing no mercy," 1580s, from un- (1) "not" + sparing (see spare (v.)). Related: Unsparingly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper