plural noun

spare·​ribs ˈsper-ˌ(r)ibz How to pronounce spareribs (audio)
: a cut of pork ribs separated from the bacon strip

Examples of spareribs in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Come for the mochiko chicken or the saimin broth studded with pork spareribs. Lauren Joseph, Bon Appétit, 12 Oct. 2022 Visitors came from near and far to sample traditional dishes like hot and sour soup, large housemade crispy egg rolls, pork spareribs, fried wontons, Mongolian beef, and fresh whole Mandarin fish. Megha McSwain, Chron, 2 Aug. 2022 Better yet, grab a spot on the outdoor patio and pair your beers with beef tri-tip or pork spareribs from neighboring Soulbelly BBQ, which was opened this spring by Top Chef contestant Bruce Kalman. Danielle Bauter, Condé Nast Traveler, 5 Nov. 2021 Tex Mex BBQ has a privileged position near section 137 offering grass-fed natural Angus beef brisket tacos and Berkshire pork spareribs, among other rotating specials. Claudia Alarcón, Forbes, 17 June 2021 The baby back ribs get dry rubbed, smoked, then grilled, and the pork spareribs are slow-roasted over hickory then basted with the house sauce. Nathan Mattise, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2021 Or try the upscale MW Restaurant for a plate of sweet and sour Mt. View Farms spareribs or the grilled hamachi kama. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 28 Oct. 2020 In dim sum restaurants small chunks of pork spareribs are steamed with black beans. Clarissa Wei, Bon Appétit, 19 Oct. 2020 Bring the family and your appetite for tri-tip, chicken, pulled pork and spareribs, complemented by the full salad bar, juice bar, deli sandwiches, local craft beer and kombucha on tap. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spareribs.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


by folk etymology from Low German ribbesper pickled pork ribs roasted on a spit, from Middle Low German, from ribbe rib + sper spear, spit

First Known Use

1596, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spareribs was in 1596

Dictionary Entries Near spareribs

Cite this Entry

“Spareribs.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural noun
spare·​ribs ˈspa(ə)r-ˌ(r)ibz How to pronounce spareribs (audio)
: a cut of pork ribs separated from the bacon strips

derived from a German dialect word ribbesper "pickled pork ribs roasted on a spit," derived from ribbe "rib" and sper "spear, spit"; probably spelled spareribs in English because of the misunderstanding of the meaning of the German word sper

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