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spar 1

1. Nautical A wooden or metal pole, such as a mast, boom, yard, or bowsprit, used to support sails and rigging.
2. A usually metal pole used as part of a crane or derrick.
3. A main structural member in an airplane wing or a tail assembly that runs from tip to tip or from root to tip.
tr.v. sparred, spar·ring, spars
1. To supply with spars.
2. Obsolete To fasten with a bolt.

[Middle English sparre, rafter.]

spar 2

intr.v. sparred, spar·ring, spars
a. To fight with an opponent in a short bout or practice session, as in boxing or the martial arts.
b. To make boxing or fighting motions without hitting one's opponent.
2. To bandy words about in argument; dispute.
3. To fight by striking with the feet and spurs. Used of gamecocks.
1. A motion of attack or defense in boxing.
2. A sparring match.

[Middle English sparren, to thrust or strike rapidly, perhaps from obsolete French esparer, to kick, from Old Italian sparare, to fling : s-, intensive pref.; see sforzando + parare, to ward off; see parry.]

spar 3

A nonmetallic, readily cleavable, translucent or transparent light-colored mineral with a shiny luster, such as feldspar.

[Low German, from Middle Low German; akin to Old English spær- (in spær-stān, gypsum).]


also Spar  (spär)
A member of the women's reserve of the US Coast Guard, disbanded as a separate unit in 1946.

[Contraction of Latin semper parātus, always prepared, the motto of the US Coast Guard : semper, always + parātus, prepared.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.sparring - an argument in which the participants are trying to gain some advantage
contestation, controversy, disceptation, arguing, argument, contention, disputation, tilt - a contentious speech act; a dispute where there is strong disagreement; "they were involved in a violent argument"
2.sparring - making the motions of attack and defense with the fists and arms; a part of training for a boxer
boxing, pugilism, fisticuffs - fighting with the fists


sparring match
n (lit)Sparringkampf m; (fig)(Wort)geplänkel nt, → Wortgefecht nt
sparring partner
n (lit)Sparringpartner(in) m(f); (fig also)Kontrahent(in) m(f)
References in classic literature ?
The other half were duffle-clad, felt-hatted hillmen of the North; and that mixture told its own tale, even if he had not overheard the incessant sparring between the two divisions.
One twilight when he was trotting leisurely across the ranges to give Akela the half of a buck that he had killed, while the Four jogged behind him, sparring a little, and tumbling one another over for joy of being alive, he heard a cry that had never been heard since the bad days of Shere Khan.
Colia was indelicate enough to voice the delight he felt at his success in managing to annoy Lizabetha Prokofievna, with whom, in spite of their really amicable relations, he was constantly sparring.
Harriet had to defend her husband instead of blaming her brother, and the conversation ended at a point as far from the beginning as some recent sparring between the brothers-in-law at a vestry meeting.
This cessation of verbal sparring was like the breaking off of diplomatic relations between countries at the beginning of war, and, once Sheldon's suspicions were aroused, he was not long in finding other confirmations.
No more philandering and frills and long-distance sparring between you and me.
It was like sparring for an opening in fist-fighting.
Some ill-conditioned persons who sneer at the life-matrimonial, may perhaps suggest, in this place, that the good couple would be better likened to two principals in a sparring match, who, when fortune is low and backers scarce, will chivalrously set to, for the mere pleasure of the buffeting; and in one respect indeed this comparison would hold good; for, as the adventurous pair of the Fives' Court will afterwards send round a hat, and trust to the bounty of the lookers-on for the means of regaling themselves, so Mr Godfrey Nickleby and HIS partner, the honeymoon being over, looked out wistfully into the world, relying in no inconsiderable degree upon chance for the improvement of their means.
If I saw him stopping football, or cricket, or bathing, or sparring, I'd be as ready as any fellow to stand up about it.
Soon, the Englishman who had tossed the caber was sparring with the dramatic critic, Hazard and Hall boxed in fantastic burlesque, then, gloves in hand, looked for the next appropriately matched couple.
We might have saved ourselves that little pas- sage of harmless sparring.
Come on,' cried the cabman, who had been sparring without cessation the whole time.