English Dictionary

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spare (spɛə



  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 (rare)
= 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 (informal), not harm, go easy on (informal), 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: 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: احْتِيَاطِيّ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: excedente
  • Chinese: 备用的
  • Croatian: rezervni rezervna
  • Czech: náhradní
  • Danish: ekstra
  • Dutch: reserve
  • European Spanish: de más
  • Finnish: ylimääräinen
  • French: supplémentaire
  • German: übrig
  • Greek: εφεδρικός εφεδρική
  • Italian: di riserva
  • Japanese: 余分の
  • Korean: 여분의
  • Norwegian: reserve-
  • Polish: zapasowy zapasowa
  • Portuguese: excedente
  • Romanian: de rezervă de rezervă
  • Russian: свободный свободная
  • Spanish: de más
  • Swedish: i reserv
  • Thai: ซึ่งสำรองไว้
  • Turkish: yedek
  • Ukrainian: запасний
  • Vietnamese: thừa
  • British English: spare If you spare time or money, you make it available.I can only spare 35 minutes for this meeting.spɛə VERB
  • Arabic: يَسْتَغْنِي
  • Brazilian Portuguese: conceder
  • Chinese: 宽容
  • Croatian: odvojiti
  • Czech: ušetřit
  • Danish: afse
  • Dutch: sparenpersoon
  • European Spanish: emplear
  • Finnish: säästää joku joltakin
  • French: épargner
  • German: entbehren
  • Greek: φείδομαι
  • Italian: risparmiare
  • Japanese: 容赦する
  • Korean: 할애하다
  • Norwegian: skåne
  • Polish: oszczędzić oszczędzaćdarować
  • Portuguese: poupar
  • Romanian: a se dispensa de
  • Russian: сохранить
  • Spanish: escatimar
  • Swedish: avvara
  • Thai: สงวนไว้
  • Turkish: ayırmak
  • Ukrainian: заощаджувати заощадити
  • Vietnamese: 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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