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 negativedon'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

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Other Words from spare

Adjective

sparely adverb
spareness noun

Verb

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

Synonyms for spare

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In her spare time, Hall is active with San Diego Writers, Ink, a nonprofit writers workshop out of Liberty Station. Jennifer Ianni Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘The Green Lace Corset’ links past, present to tell stories of women," 18 Oct. 2020 Duthie, who has been living in a one-bedroom apartment on Milwaukee's east side, is eager to use a spare bedroom as a dedicated office space. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The pandemic has not slowed demand one bit' in Wisconsin's housing market," 17 Oct. 2020 The best way to store a quilt is on a bed in a spare bedroom. oregonlive, "Caring for your quilt: Use it, don’t store it in cedar," 15 Oct. 2020 Nouri DJs in his spare time, and has programmed a wide range of music at his club, including jazz, reggae and salsa. Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg.com, "The Bitter End and Other Concert Venues Say They Won’t Survive Without a Bailout," 9 Oct. 2020 The season’s grand finale had been postponed three months because of the pandemic, leaving Shelton to play baseball in his spare time, while hunting for opportunities to stay sharp with the surf board the rest of the time. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "City Pony Baseball player captures state surfing championship," 29 Sep. 2020 In her spare time, Day-Banker enjoyed spending time with the family's pets, working in her gardens, fishing and baking. Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune, "Karan Day-Banker, mainstay at Calhoun Beach Club and mom to many, dies at 76," 28 Sep. 2020 Now an empty-nester, Chesshir devotes most of his spare time to training and competing with his Labrador retrievers. Rachel O'neal, Arkansas Online, "James William Chesshir Jr.," 27 Sep. 2020 There’s a spare key under the pot next to the door for the housekeeper. Longreads, "Postcard from the (Literal) Edge," 10 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Production on The Haunting of Bly Manor began in September of that year and wrapped in Feb. 2020, with plenty of time to spare before its October release date. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "Will Netflix's 'The Haunting...' Get a Season 3?," 9 Oct. 2020 Nakkoun connected with Nick Rawls on a 32-yard reception along the OCP sideline with 23 seconds to spare in the second quarter. J.c. Carnahan, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Christian Prep opens season with shutout win at Orangewood Christian," 12 Sep. 2020 For those with time to spare, don’t miss the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, which will delight all ages with its interactive exhibits. Katy Spratte Joyce, Travel + Leisure, "9 Stops You Should Make on a Great River Road Trip," 29 Aug. 2020 Praising local election authorities for running three smooth votes so far this year, Ashcroft said there are special efforts underway to encourage voters to obtain and submit their absentee ballots with time to spare. Star Tribune, "Postal Service warns 46 states, D.C. it can't guarantee mail-in votes can be counted," 14 Aug. 2020 There is little time to spare before the Sept. 13 season opener at the Los Angeles Rams. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Little’s gone as planned for Mike McCarthy. Now he tries to bring the Cowboys together while keeping them safely apart," 8 Aug. 2020 Sure enough, Wilson led the Seahawks (5-0) to victory on a 94-yard drive that left time to spare. Victor Mather, New York Times, "How Russell Wilson’s Latest Clutch Drive Beat the Vikings," 12 Oct. 2020 The Twins—who proudly won the World Series in 1987 and 1991 during the reign of Hall-of-Fame outfielder Kirby Puckett—have now surpassed that with room to spare. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "How the Minnesota Twins Became the Worst Playoff Team in Sports History," 1 Oct. 2020 Should the process spill into the lame-duck session, McConnell might find himself with one fewer vote to spare if the Democrat Mark Kelly, who is leading in polls in Arizona’s special election, were to defeat the Republican Martha McSally. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "The Republicans Are Planning a Shameless Supreme Court Heist to Fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Seat," 19 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The title of this spare, quietly lyrical collection of poetry suggests a personal and cultural darkness that the author has grappled with and found a way through, to bring understanding and a sense of peace into the light. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "New poetry book brings to readers a portrait of love, loss and transformation in Northwest Alaska," 4 Oct. 2020 Austin Johnson, his brother and caddie, had a spare. Fox News, "Dustin Johnson emerges from a pack to lead PGA Championship," 9 Aug. 2020 Austin Johnson, his brother and caddie, had a spare. Fox News, "Dustin Johnson emerges from a pack to lead PGA Championship," 9 Aug. 2020 Austin Johnson, his brother and caddie, had a spare. Fox News, "Dustin Johnson emerges from a pack to lead PGA Championship," 9 Aug. 2020 Austin Johnson, his brother and caddie, had a spare. Fox News, "Dustin Johnson emerges from a pack to lead PGA Championship," 9 Aug. 2020 Most people will want a spare, and more Ah is always better, though higher output will mean more cost. Bob Beacham, chicagotribune.com, "The best cordless drill of 2020," 12 Aug. 2020 And a person in need of a bike tire somehow reached a god who had a spare that was just the right size. Leora Smith, Longreads, "The God Phone," 10 Aug. 2020 Austin Johnson, his brother and caddie, had a spare. Fox News, "Dustin Johnson emerges from a pack to lead PGA Championship," 9 Aug. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for spare

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for spare

Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spare.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spare. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for spare

spare

adjective
How to pronounce spare (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spare

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: kept as something extra that can be used if it is needed
: available to be used in whatever way you want
: not needed by you and available to be shared or given to someone else

spare

verb

English Language Learners Definition of spare (Entry 2 of 3)

: to choose not to punish or harm (someone)
: to not destroy or harm (something)
: to prevent (someone or something) from experiencing or being affected by something unpleasant, harmful, etc.

spare

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spare (Entry 3 of 3)

: something extra that is kept to be used if it is needed
bowling : the achievement of knocking down all 10 pins with the first two balls

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

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Comments on spare

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