English Dictionary

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spare (spɛə Pronunciation for spare



  1. (transitive) to refrain from killing, punishing, harming, or injuring
  2. (transitive) to release or relieve, as from pain, suffering, etc
  3. (transitive) to refrain from using   ⇒ spare the rod, spoil the child
  4. (transitive) to be able to afford or give   ⇒ I can't spare the time
  5. (usually passive) (esp of Providence) to allow to survive   ⇒ I'll see you again next year if we are spared
  6. (intransitive) (rare) to act or live frugally
  7. (intransitive) (rare) to show mercy
  8. See not spare oneself

  9. See to spare


  1. (often immediately postpositive) in excess of what is needed; additional   ⇒ are there any seats spare?
  2. able to be used when needed   ⇒ a spare part
  3. (of a person) thin and lean
  4. scanty or meagre
  5. (postpositive) (British, slang) upset, angry, or distracted (esp in the phrase go spare)


  1. a duplicate kept as a replacement in case of damage or loss
  2. a spare tyre
  3. (tenpin bowling)
    1. the act of knocking down all the pins with the two bowls of a single frame
    2. the score thus made Compare strike (sense 40)

Derived Forms

ˈsparely adverb
ˈspareness noun
ˈsparer noun

Word Origin

Old English sparian to refrain from injuring; related to Old Norse spara, Old High German sparōn


View thesaurus entry
= back-up, reserve, second, extra, relief, emergency, additional, substitute, fall-back, auxiliary, in reserve
= extra, surplus, leftover, over, free, odd, unwanted, in excess, unused, superfluous, going begging, supernumerary,
= thin, lean, slim, slender, slight, meagre, gaunt, wiry, lank, macilent,
= afford, give, grant, do without, relinquish, part with, allow, bestow, dispense with, manage without, let someone have
= have mercy on, pardon, have pity on, leave, release, excuse, let off, not harm, go easy on, leave unharmed, be merciful to, grant pardon to, deal leniently with, leave uninjured, refrain from hurting, save (from harm), relieve from,

Translations for 'spare'

  • British English: sparePronunciation for spare You use spare to describe something that is the same as things that you are already using, but that you do not need yet and are keeping ready in case another one is needed.If possible keep a spare pair of glasses accessible in case your main pair is broken or lost.spɛə ADJECTIVE
  • Arabic: احْتِيَاطِيّPronunciation for احْتِيَاطِيّ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: excedentePronunciation for excedente
  • Chinese: 备用的Pronunciation for 备用的
  • Croatian: rezervniPronunciation for rezervni rezervna
  • Czech: náhradníPronunciation for náhradní
  • Danish: ekstraPronunciation for ekstra
  • Dutch: reservePronunciation for reserve
  • European Spanish: de másPronunciation for de más
  • Finnish: ylimääräinenPronunciation for ylimääräinen
  • French: supplémentairePronunciation for supplémentaire
  • German: übrigPronunciation for übrig
  • Greek: εφεδρικόςPronunciation for εφεδρικός εφεδρική
  • Italian: di riservaPronunciation for di riserva
  • Japanese: 余分のPronunciation for 余分の
  • Korean: 여분의Pronunciation for 여분의
  • Norwegian: reserve-Pronunciation for reserve-
  • Polish: zapasowyPronunciation for zapasowy zapasowa
  • Portuguese: excedentePronunciation for excedente
  • Romanian: de rezervă de rezervă
  • Russian: свободныйPronunciation for свободный свободная
  • Spanish: de másPronunciation for de más
  • Swedish: i reservPronunciation for i reserv
  • Thai: ซึ่งสำรองไว้Pronunciation for ซึ่งสำรองไว้
  • Turkish: yedekPronunciation for yedek
  • Ukrainian: запасний
  • Vietnamese: thừaPronunciation for thừa
  • British English: sparePronunciation for spare If you spare time or money, you make it available.I can only spare 35 minutes for this meeting.spɛə VERB
  • Arabic: يَسْتَغْنِيPronunciation for يَسْتَغْنِي
  • Brazilian Portuguese: concederPronunciation for conceder
  • Chinese: 宽容Pronunciation for 宽容
  • Croatian: odvojitiPronunciation for odvojiti
  • Czech: ušetřitPronunciation for ušetřit
  • Danish: afsePronunciation for afse
  • Dutch: sparenPronunciation for sparenpersoon
  • European Spanish: emplearPronunciation for emplear
  • Finnish: säästää joku joltakinPronunciation for säästää joku joltakin
  • French: épargnerPronunciation for épargner
  • German: entbehrenPronunciation for entbehren
  • Greek: φείδομαιPronunciation for φείδομαι
  • Italian: risparmiarePronunciation for risparmiare
  • Japanese: 容赦するPronunciation for 容赦する
  • Korean: 할애하다Pronunciation for 할애하다
  • Norwegian: skånePronunciation for skåne
  • Polish: oszczędzićPronunciation for oszczędzić oszczędzaćdarować
  • Portuguese: pouparPronunciation for poupar
  • Romanian: a se dispensa de
  • Russian: сохранитьPronunciation for сохранить
  • Spanish: escatimarPronunciation for escatimar
  • Swedish: avvaraPronunciation for avvara
  • Thai: สงวนไว้Pronunciation for สงวนไว้
  • Turkish: ayırmakPronunciation for ayırmak
  • Ukrainian: заощаджувати заощадити
  • Vietnamese: dànhPronunciation for dànhcho ai

Example Sentences Including 'spare'

A depot that used to deal in spare parts for road maintenance vehicles, the driver explained.
Mark Burnell CHAMELEON (2002)
Clements put every spare detective in Homicide on the Delia Jones murder.
Jon Cleary YESTERDAY'S SHADOW (2002)
Back at her hotel, with time to spare , Petra decided to check her e-mail.


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