spar

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
: a stout pole
2
a
: a stout rounded usually wood or metal piece (such as a mast, boom, gaff, or yard) used to support rigging
b
: any of the main longitudinal members of the wing of an airplane that carry the ribs

spar

2 of 5

verb

sparred; sparring

intransitive verb

1
a
: box entry 3
especially : to gesture without landing a blow to draw one's opponent or create an opening
b
: to engage in a practice or exhibition bout of boxing
2
3
: to strike or fight with feet or spurs in the manner of a gamecock

spar

3 of 5

noun (2)

1
: a movement of offense or defense in boxing
2
: a sparring match or session

spar

4 of 5

noun (3)

: any of various nonmetallic usually cleavable and lustrous minerals

SPAR

5 of 5

noun (4)

: a member of the women's reserve of the U.S. Coast Guard

Example Sentences

Verb He's been sparring with his trainer. They sparred playfully over whose team was better.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English sparre; akin to Old English spere spear — more at spear

Verb

Middle English sparren to dart, spring

Noun (3)

Low German; akin to Old English spærstān gypsum, spæren of plaster

Noun (4)

Semper Paratus, motto of the U.S. Coast Guard, from New Latin, always ready

First Known Use

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1814, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1581, in the meaning defined above

Noun (4)

1942, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spar was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near spar

Cite this Entry

“Spar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spar. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

spar 1 of 2

noun

1
: a stout pole
2
: a long rounded usually wood or metal piece (as a mast, boom, or yard) to which a sail is fastened

spar

2 of 2

verb

sparred; sparring
1
: to box or make boxing movements with the fists for practice or in fun
2

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