spare

adjective
\ ˈsper How to pronounce spare (audio) \
sparer; sparest

Definition of spare

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not being used especially : held for emergency use a spare tire
2 : being over and above what is needed : superfluous spare time
3 : not liberal or profuse : sparing a spare prose style
4 : healthily lean
5 : not abundant or plentiful

spare

verb
spared; sparing

Definition of spare (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to forbear to destroy, punish, or harm
2 : to refrain from attacking or reprimanding with necessary or salutary severity
3 : to relieve of the necessity of doing or undergoing something spare yourself the trouble
4 : to refrain from : avoid spared no expense
5 : to use or dispense frugally used chiefly in the negative don't spare the syrup
6a : to give up as not strictly needed do you have any cash to spare
b : to have left over or as margin time to spare

intransitive verb

1 : to be frugal
2 : to refrain from doing harm

spare

noun

Definition of spare (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : a spare tire
b : a duplicate (such as a key or a machine part) kept in reserve
2 : the knocking down of all 10 pins with the first 2 balls in a frame in bowling

Other Words from spare

Adjective

sparely adverb
spareness noun

Verb

spareable \ ˈsper-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce spare (audio) \ adjective
sparer noun

Synonyms for spare

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for spare

Adjective

lean, spare, lank, lanky, gaunt, rawboned, scrawny, skinny mean thin because of an absence of excess flesh. lean stresses lack of fat and of curving contours. a lean racehorse spare suggests leanness from abstemious living or constant exercise. the gymnast's spare figure lank implies tallness as well as leanness. the lank legs of the heron lanky suggests awkwardness and loose-jointedness as well as thinness. a lanky youth, all arms and legs gaunt implies marked thinness or emaciation as from overwork or suffering. a prisoner's gaunt face rawboned suggests a large ungainly build without implying undernourishment. a rawboned farmer scrawny and skinny imply an extreme leanness that suggests deficient strength and vitality. a scrawny chicken skinny street urchins

meager, scanty, scant, skimpy, spare, sparse mean falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. meager implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency. a meager portion of meat scanty stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent. supplies too scanty to last the winter scant suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential. in January the daylight hours are scant skimpy usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency. tacky housing developments on skimpy lots spare may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity. a spare, concise style of writing sparse implies a thin scattering of units. a sparse population

Examples of spare in a Sentence

Adjective a spare pair of gloves I keep a spare set of keys in my desk. He has a spare frame. He was tall and spare. I like her spare style of writing. Verb No one knows why the gunman shot some people and spared others. Somehow the storm spared our house while nearby buildings were destroyed. She was spared from having to answer any more questions. He wanted to spare his family from the stress he had endured. I could have spared myself the trouble. He spared them the embarrassment of a public apology. If you could spare a cup of sugar, it would save me a trip to the store. Noun “I've lost the key.” “You'll find a spare in the drawer.” If that one breaks, I've got a spare. Most cars come with spares. He got a strike and two spares. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective After switching to remote learning in his junior year, Farbstein began filling his spare time building his own brand and traveling for more speeches. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Aug. 2022 McCullough researched the book in his spare time, and pleaded in vain with Little, Brown and Company to publish him. CBS News, 8 Aug. 2022 McCullough researched the book in his spare time, and pleaded in vain with Little, Brown and Company to publish him. Hillel Italie, ajc, 8 Aug. 2022 McCullough researched the book in his spare time, and pleaded in vain with Little, Brown and Company to publish him. Hillel Italie, Chicago Tribune, 8 Aug. 2022 In recent months, his work description has grown once more: In his spare time, Todd is orchestrating an international legal effort to rescue thousands of bitcoin mining machines from Compass in Siberia. Gian M. Volpicelli, Wired, 3 Aug. 2022 Vanessa Solomon, the book’s main character, is a privileged and misanthropic French-American translator, who, in her spare time (which is every single moment) hates her famous movie star twin sister. Mike Postalakis, SPIN, 3 Aug. 2022 Now at 16, Shiloh spends much of her spare time dancing, practicing at Millennium Dance Complex, an elite dance studio in L.A. Alex Gurley, Peoplemag, 2 Aug. 2022 Born in Guntersville, Thompson still owns and runs 1st Family Mortgage in Huntsville, Thompson hosts the shows that have since stretched far beyond his spare time. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, 1 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have pleaded with their communities to get inoculated to spare overburdened hospitals. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 29 Aug. 2021 In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have pleaded with their communities to get inoculated to spare overburdened hospitals. The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Aug. 2021 In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have pleaded with their communities to get inoculated to spare overburdened hospitals. Lindsay Whitehurst And Colleen Long, chicagotribune.com, 28 Aug. 2021 In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have pleaded with their communities to get inoculated to spare overburdened hospitals. Lindsay Whitehurst And Colleen Long, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Aug. 2021 In areas where vaccination rates are particularly low, doctors have pleaded with their communities to get inoculated to spare overburdened hospitals. BostonGlobe.com, 27 Aug. 2021 That could spare roughly 13 million Americans from seeing insurance premium increases set to take effect next year, when an existing federal aid program expires. Tony Romm, BostonGlobe.com, 15 July 2022 The Revolution preamps drove the PodMic beautifully with plenty of headroom to spare and an astonishingly low noise floor. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 24 June 2022 The Angels did it: down by five runs, and with just eight outs to spare. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Johnson then suggests the two spare for reals with gear. Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY, 20 July 2022 Employees working in spare-parts production and distribution, as well as customer service, will keep a full working schedule during this period. Nick Kostov And Evan Gershkovich, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 But the agency stopped short of issuing a spare the air alert, since most of the wildfire smoke was likely to stay at higher elevations. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Aug. 2021 Preliminary information indicates the left front tire of the pickup was a spare that failed, causing the vehicle to pull hard to the left into oncoming traffic of a two-lane roadway, NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg said Thursday. Ray Sanchez, CNN, 18 Mar. 2022 The truck's left front tire was a spare that failed and caused the vehicle to pull hard left and cross into the opposing lane, according to the NTSB. Mark Osborne, ABC News, 17 Mar. 2022 In the trunk, among the road flares and radio wiring harness, sits a fresh full-size spare. Austin Irwin, Car and Driver, 29 Apr. 2022 In addition to the spare, the swingout also makes room for a Power Tank (from $650), a DMOS Delta shovel ($250), a folding table, and a five-pound propane tank. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 18 Apr. 2022 Construction on East Houston Street has stolen some of the spartan valor from Estate, infringing on its spare, Prada Marfa-in-the-desert vibe. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 23 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spare.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of spare

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spare

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English spær sparing, scant; akin to Old High German spar spare

Verb

Middle English, from Old English sparian; akin to Old High German sparōn to spare, Old English spær, adjective, scant

Learn More About spare

Time Traveler for spare

Time Traveler

The first known use of spare was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for spare

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spare. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for spare

spare

verb
\ ˈsper How to pronounce spare (audio) \
spared; sparing

Kids Definition of spare

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to keep from being punished or harmed : show mercy to The king promised to spare the prisoner.
2 : to free from having to go through something difficult This afternoon … he was spared any disagreeable scenes.— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
3 : to keep from using or spending More pancakes, please, and don't spare the syrup.
4 : to give up especially as not really needed Can you spare a few minutes?
5 : to have left over I got there with time to spare.

spare

adjective
sparer; sparest

Kids Definition of spare (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : held in reserve (as for an emergency) a spare tire
2 : being over what is needed spare time
3 : somewhat thin a spare figure
4 : scanty a spare diet

spare

noun

Kids Definition of spare (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a replacement or duplicate piece or part
2 : the knocking down of all ten bowling pins with the first two balls

More from Merriam-Webster on spare

Nglish: Translation of spare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spare for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spare

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