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tr.v. spared, spar·ing, spares
a. To refrain from harming, injuring, destroying, or killing: The general spared the city from a bombardment.
b. To leave undamaged or unharmed: The oldest trees in the forest were spared from the fire.
c. To refrain from denouncing or distressing; treat leniently or with consideration: The teacher spared the student's feelings by not criticizing her.
d. To allow (someone) to avoid experiencing or doing (something): spared myself the trouble of going to the store.
a. To hold back from; withhold or avoid: spared no expense for the celebration.
b. To use or supply with restraint: Don't spare the mustard.
3. To give or grant out of one's resources; afford: Can you spare ten minutes?
adj. spar·er, spar·est
a. Kept in reserve: spare parts.
b. Being in excess of what is needed; extra: spare cash.
c. Free for other use; unoccupied: spare time.
a. Not lavish, abundant, or excessive; meager: a spare breakfast.
b. Lean and trim: a runner with a spare figure.
c. Not elaborate or ornate; simple: a writer's spare style.
1. A replacement, especially a tire, reserved for future need.
2. Sports
a. The act of knocking down all ten pins with two successive rolls of a bowling ball.
b. The score so made.
to spare
In addition to what is needed: We paid our bills and had money to spare.

[Middle English sparen, from Old English sparian.]

spare′ly adv.
spare′ness n.
spar′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spareness - the property of being scanty or scattered; lacking denseness
exiguity, leanness, meagerness, meagreness, scantiness, scantness, poorness - the quality of being meager; "an exiguity of cloth that would only allow of miniature capes"-George Eliot
2.spareness - the property of having little body fat
bodily property - an attribute of the body
scrawniness, skinniness - the bodily property of lacking flesh
boniness, bonyness, emaciation, gauntness, maceration - extreme leanness (usually caused by starvation or disease)
slimness, slenderness, slightness - the property of an attractively thin person
wiriness - the property of being lean and tough and sinewy
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
We have to slay pride in giants, envy by generosity and nobleness of heart, anger by calmness of demeanour and equanimity, gluttony and sloth by the spareness of our diet and the length of our vigils, lust and lewdness by the loyalty we preserve to those whom we have made the mistresses of our thoughts, indolence by traversing the world in all directions seeking opportunities of making ourselves, besides Christians, famous knights.
His style is calibrated to a sounding of spareness; his lines are taut (no doubt learned from Yeats), with every dangle clipped to a purity of bone.
This form of psychotherapy is clearly economic--in both the spareness and the bareness of its provision, and its cost effectiveness at delivery (and I stress here at delivery).
Whereas the Czech illustrates his prison with a score of opulent sound (almost too lush to some for its subject matter),Weinberg's music is often low-keyed, with the spareness of chamber music.
The spareness of his prose is that straightforward, that unadorned.
An African-inspired, unique Gusztav Miklos patinated bronze bust, Tete of 1928, almost Brancusi-like in its polished spareness, changed hands for 811,500 [euro] (estimate 200,000 [euro]-6250,000).
04 Bentley Home presents the President desk, a masculine, L-shaped writing bureau inspired by the spareness of a racecar's interior.
A number of critics have noted this repetitive quality: Eric Griffiths refers to her "perpetual variations on sameness" as well as "moments when her verbal needle seems stuck in a groove," and Isobel Armstrong correctly describes Rossetti's style as "adamantly locked in repetition," relying on "doubling of words, phrases, patterned iteration and duplication" to "create the spareness of her lyrics." (15) Interpreting what this repetition does, however, proves harder than identifying it.
In this way, Phillips uses the sonnet as a form accommodating of both spareness and sprawl, sometimes packed to bursting, at others almost dissolving on the page.
Mia Farrow can express Rosemary's growing confusion and concern better with her downcast face and shifting eyes than Levin can with his elegantly simple language; but the spareness of Levin's prose highlights better than Polanski's sumptuous sets Rosemary's increasing sense of isolation and dread.
This late spareness culminates in Patchen's final book, Hurrah for Anything, the collection of poems illustrated by simple, even crude ink drawings published in 1957.
Three one-acts completed in 1917 include Close the Book, which satirizes self-conscious non-conformity; the allegorical The People, in which a midwestern woman (symbolically named Woman From Idaho) renews a jaded editor's ideals; and the highly original and evocative The Outside, which the editors characterize as "pure poetry," denoting Glaspell's "lyrical dialogue, idiomatic rhythms, spareness, and subject matter" as reminiscent of Irish playwright John Millington Synge (58).