sparse

adjective
\ ˈspärs How to pronounce sparse (audio) \
sparser; sparsest

Definition of sparse

: of few and scattered elements especially : not thickly grown or settled

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Other Words from sparse

sparsely adverb
sparseness noun
sparsity \ ˈspär-​sə-​tē How to pronounce sparsity (audio) , -​stē \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sparse

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 sparse in a Sentence

open land is sparse around here

Recent Examples on the Web

The uncertain weather took a huge toll on the crowd, which was very sparse under still overcast skies. Hank Kurz Jr, The Seattle Times, "Harvick wins pole at Richmond Raceway," 12 Apr. 2019 That was more than roughly 3 million plan cancellations, and most of the plans were cut because of how sparse their coverage was. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The 3 decisions that will shape Medicare-for-all," 17 Dec. 2018 If your lashes are sparse, some salons may suggest 3-D lashes, or clusters, which are three hairs glued together, to give your eyes a more voluminous look. Katheryn Erickson, Glamour, "Your Everything Guide to Eyelash Extensions," 28 Mar. 2019 Consumers still report motion sickness using the product, while content for the headsets remains sparse. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Why Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One' Might Give Bitcoin Winners Nvidia and AMD a Boost," 13 Mar. 2018 Formed in 1968, Josephus foreshadowed heavy metal with the turgid riffs, brutal-but-sparse rhythms, and wildman vocals across their 1970 debut, Dead Man. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "Houston proto-metal misfits Josefus make a rare trip to Chicago," 21 June 2018 But that was a really genius move on his part to realize that our sound was so unique and eccentric and sparse. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, "The B-52s at 40: An Oral History of Their Awesomely Bizarre Beach Party Breakthrough 'Rock Lobster'," 29 May 2018 There are Charlie Brown Christmas trees and then there are gorgeously plump pines, but somewhere in the middle there are perfectly sparse and aesthetically clean options that are seriously taking over the Internet. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "These Sparse Christmas Trees Will Make You Reconsider Your Full Ones," 26 Nov. 2018 As Kwon weaves her way through this story of absences and omissions, her language stays sparse and stark. Constance Grady, Vox, "In R.O. Kwon’s terrific new novel The Incendiaries, a cultist looks for meaning in tragedy," 3 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sparse.' 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 sparse

1753, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sparse

Latin sparsus spread out, from past participle of spargere to scatter — more at spark

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Statistics for sparse

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sparse

The first known use of sparse was in 1753

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More Definitions for sparse

sparse

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of sparse

: present only in small amounts : less than necessary or normal especially : thinly covering an area : not thick or full

sparse

adjective
\ ˈspärs How to pronounce sparse (audio) \
sparser; sparsest

Kids Definition of sparse

: not thickly grown or settled a sparse beard

Other Words from sparse

sparsely adverb a sparsely populated village

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More from Merriam-Webster on sparse

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sparse

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sparse

Spanish Central: Translation of sparse

Nglish: Translation of sparse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sparse for Arabic Speakers

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