spar·​ing ˈsper-iŋ How to pronounce sparing (audio)
: marked by or practicing careful restraint (as in the use of resources)
: meager, bare
the map is sparing of information
sparingly adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for sparing

sparing, frugal, thrifty, economical mean careful in the use of one's money or resources.

sparing stresses abstention and restraint.

sparing in the offering of advice

frugal implies absence of luxury and simplicity of lifestyle.

ran a frugal household

thrifty stresses good management and industry.

thrifty use of nonrenewable resources

economical stresses prudent management, lack of wastefulness, and use of things to their best advantage.

an economical health-care plan

Examples of sparing in a Sentence

a sparing couple who are trying to save up enough for a house a government agency that has always been sparing of public information
Recent Examples on the Web Mercy for violence, however, remained more sparing. New York Times, 17 Nov. 2021

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

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near sparing

Cite this Entry

“Sparing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: careful in the use of money or supplies

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