spare someone's feelings

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of spare someone's feelings

: to avoid doing or saying something that will hurt someone emotionally : to avoid upsetting someone
  • He admitted that he hadn't told me the whole story because he wanted to spare my feelings.
  • We pretended to like his artwork in order to spare his feelings.

Word by Word Definitions

spare play
  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

  1. : not being used

  2. : being over and above what is needed : superfluous

  3. : not liberal or profuse : sparing

  1. : a spare tire

  2. : a duplicate (such as a key or a machine part) kept in reserve

  3. : the knocking down of all 10 pins with the first 2 balls in a frame in bowling

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

feeling play feelings
  1. : the one of the basic physical senses of which the skin contains the chief end organs and of which the sensations of touch and temperature are characteristic : touch

  2. : a sensation experienced through this sense

  3. : generalized bodily consciousness or sensation

  1. : sentient, sensitive

  2. : easily moved emotionally

  3. : deeply felt


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up spare someone's feelings? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!