What does Spare mean?

Definitions for Spare

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word Spare.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. spare part, sparenoun

    an extra component of a machine or other apparatus

  2. fifth wheel, sparenoun

    an extra car wheel and tire for a four-wheel vehicle

  3. spareadjective

    a score in tenpins; knocking down all ten after rolling two balls

  4. spare, trimadjective

    thin and fit

    "the spare figure of a marathon runner"; "a body kept trim by exercise"

  5. excess, extra, redundant, spare, supererogatory, superfluous, supernumerary, surplusadjective

    more than is needed, desired, or required

    "trying to lose excess weight"; "found some extra change lying on the dresser"; "yet another book on heraldry might be thought redundant"; "skills made redundant by technological advance"; "sleeping in the spare room"; "supernumerary ornamentation"; "it was supererogatory of her to gloat"; "delete superfluous (or unnecessary) words"; "extra ribs as well as other supernumerary internal parts"; "surplus cheese distributed to the needy"

  6. spare, freeadjective

    not taken up by scheduled activities

    "a free hour between classes"; "spare time on my hands"

  7. spareadjective

    kept in reserve especially for emergency use

    "a reserve supply of food"; "a spare tire"; "spare parts"

  8. bare(a), scanty, spareadjective

    lacking in amplitude or quantity

    "a bare livelihood"; "a scanty harvest"; "a spare diet"

  9. plain, bare, spare, unembellished, unornamentedverb

    lacking embellishment or ornamentation

    "a plain hair style"; "unembellished white walls"; "functional architecture featuring stark unornamented concrete"

  10. spare, saveverb

    refrain from harming

  11. spareverb

    save or relieve from an experience or action

    "I'll spare you from having to apologize formally"

  12. spare, give up, part with, dispense withverb

    give up what is not strictly needed

    "he asked if they could spare one of their horses to speed his journey"

  13. spareverb

    use frugally or carefully


  1. Sparenoun

    (Bowling) The act of knocking down all ten pins in two bowls, which entitles the bowler to add the number of pins knocked down in the next bowl to the score for the frame in which the spare occurred.

  2. Sparenoun

    (Tenpins) The right of bowling again at a full set of pins, after having knocked all the pins down in less than three bowls. If all the pins are knocked down in one bowl it is a double spare; in two bowls, a single spare. For the meaning in modern bowling, see sense 6.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Spareadjective

    He was spare, but discreet of speech; better conceiving than delivering; equally stout and kind Richard Carew, Surv. of Cornwal.

    Men ought to beware, that they use not exercise and a spare diet both. Francis Bacon, Natural History.

    Join with thee calm peace and quiet;
    Spare fast, that oft with gods doth diet. John Milton.

    The masters of the world were bred up with spare diet; and the young gentlemen of Rome felt no want of strength, because they ate but once a day. John Locke.

    If that no spare cloths he had to give,
    His own coat he would cut, and it distribute glad. F. Q.

    As any of our sick waxed well, he might be removed; for which purpose there were set forth ten spare chambers. Francis Bacon.

    Learning seems more adapted to the female world than to the male, because they have more spare time upon their hands, and lead a more sedentary life. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    In my spare hours you’ve had your part;
    Ev’n now my servile hand your sovereign will obeys. John Norris.

    O give me your spare men, and spare me the great ones. Sh.

    If my name were liable to fear,
    I do not know the man I should avoid
    So soon as that spare Cassius. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    His visage drawn he felt to sharp and spare,
    His arms clung to his ribs. John Milton, Parad. Lost.

  2. Sparenoun

    Parcimony; frugal use; husbandry. Not in use.

    Etymology: from the verb.

    Our victuals failed us, though we had made good spare of them. Francis Bacon.

  3. To SPAREverb

    Etymology: sparan , Saxon; spaeren, Dutch; espargne, French.

    Thou thy father’s thunder didst not spare. John Milton.

    All the time he could spare from the necessary cares of his weighty charge he bestowed on prayer, and serving of God: he oftentimes spent the night alone in church-praying, his head-piece, gorget, and gauntlets lying by him. Richard Knolles.

    He had no bread to spare. Roger L'Estrange.

    Only the foolish virgins entertained this foolish conceit, that there might be an overplus of grace sufficient to supply their want; but the wise knew not of any that they had to spare, but supposed all that they had little enough. John Tillotson.

    Let a pamphlet come in a proper juncture, and every one who can spare a shilling shall be a subscriber. Jonathan Swift.

    I could have better spar’d a better man. William Shakespeare, Hen. IV.

    For his mind, I do not care,
    That’s a toy that I could spare;
    Let his title be but great,
    His clothes rich, and band sit neat. Ben Jonson.

    Sense of pleasure we may well
    Spare out of life perhaps, and not repine;
    But pain is perfect misery. John Milton.

    Now she might spare the ocean, and oppose
    Your conduct to the fiercest of her foes. Edmund Waller.

    The fair blessing we vouchsafe to send;
    Nor can we spare you long, tho’ often we may lend. Dryd.

    We might have spar’d our coming. John Milton.

    Be pleas’d your politicks to spare;
    I’m old enough, and can myself take care. Dryden.

    Spare us, good Lord. Common Prayer.

    Who will set the discipline of wisdom over mine heart, that they spare me not for my ignorances? Ecclus xxiii. 2.

    Doth not each look a flash of lightning feel!
    Which spares the body’s sheath, but melts the steel. John Cleveland.

    Dim sadness did not spare
    Celestial visages. John Milton.

    Less pleasure take brave minds in battles won
    Than in restoring such as are undone:
    Tygers have courage, and the rugged bear;
    But man alone can whom he conquers spare. Edmund Waller.

    Spare me one hour! O spare me but a moment. Irene.

    Set me in the remotest place,
    That Neptune’s frozen arms embrace;
    Where angry Jove did never spare
    One breath of kind and temperate air. Wentworth Dillon.

    Spare my remembrance; ’twas a guilty day;
    And still the blush hangs here. John Dryden, All for Love.

    O spare this great, this good, this aged king,
    And spare your soul the crime! John Dryden, Spanish Fryar.

    Spare my sight the pain
    Of seeing what a world of tears it costs you. Dryden.

  4. To Spareverb

    H’ has wherewithal: in him
    Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine. William Shakespeare.

    Those wants, which they rather feared than felt, would well enough be overcome by sparing and patience. Richard Knolles.

    Our labours late and early every morning,
    Midst Winter frosts, then clad and fed with sparing,
    Rise to our toils. Thomas Otway.

    God has not been so sparing to men to make them barely two-legged creatures, and left it to Aristotle to make them rational. John Locke.

    When they discover the passionate desire of fame in the ambitious man, they become sparing and saving in their commendations; they envy him the satisfaction of an applause. Addis.

    Now a reservoir to keep and spare,
    The next a fountain spouting through his heir. Alexander Pope.

    No statute in his favour says
    How free or frugal I shall pass my days;
    Who at some times spend, at others spare,
    Divided between carelessness and care. Alexander Pope.

    His soldiers spared not to say that they should be unkindly dealt with, if they were defrauded of the spoil. Richard Knolles.

    In these relations, although he be more sparing, his predecessors were very numerous. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours.

    To pluck and eat my fill I spar’d not. John Milton.

    Their king, out of a princely feeling, was sparing and compassionate towards his subjects. Francis Bacon.


  1. spare

    Spare is an adjective, verb or noun that refers to an additional or extra item kept for future use or in case of need, often used in reserve. As a verb, it can mean to refrain from harming, injuring, or bothering someone, or to allow someone to avoid experiencing something uncomfortable. It can also refer to the act of giving or parting with something. As a noun, in the context of bowling, it refers to knocking down all the remaining pins in the second attempt.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Spareadjective

    to use frugally or stintingly, as that which is scarce or valuable; to retain or keep unused; to save

  2. Spareadjective

    to keep to one's self; to forbear to impart or give

  3. Spareadjective

    to preserve from danger or punishment; to forbear to punish, injure, or harm; to show mercy to

  4. Spareadjective

    to save or gain, as by frugality; to reserve, as from some occupation, use, or duty

  5. Spareadjective

    to deprive one's self of, as by being frugal; to do without; to dispense with; to give up; to part with

  6. Spareverb

    to be frugal; not to be profuse; to live frugally; to be parsimonious

  7. Spareverb

    to refrain from inflicting harm; to use mercy or forbearance

  8. Spareverb

    to desist; to stop; to refrain

  9. Spareverb

    scanty; not abundant or plentiful; as, a spare diet

  10. Spareverb

    sparing; frugal; parsimonious; chary

  11. Spareverb

    being over and above what is necessary, or what must be used or reserved; not wanted, or not used; superfluous; as, I have no spare time

  12. Spareverb

    held in reserve, to be used in an emergency; as, a spare anchor; a spare bed or room

  13. Spareverb

    lean; wanting flesh; meager; thin; gaunt

  14. Spareverb


  15. Sparenoun

    the act of sparing; moderation; restraint

  16. Sparenoun

    parsimony; frugal use

  17. Sparenoun

    an opening in a petticoat or gown; a placket

  18. Sparenoun

    that which has not been used or expended

  19. Sparenoun

    the right of bowling again at a full set of pins, after having knocked all the pins down in less than three bowls. If all the pins are knocked down in one bowl it is a double spare; in two bowls, a single spare

  20. Etymology: [AS. sparian, fr. spaer spare, sparing, saving; akin to D. & G. sparen, OHG. sparn, Icel. & Sw. spara, Dan. spare See Spare, a.]


  1. Spare

    A spare is a term used in bowling to indicate that all of the pins have been knocked down after the second ball of a frame. The symbol for a spare is a slash mark. A "spare" is awarded when no pins are left standing after the second ball of a frame; i.e., a player uses both balls of a frame to clear all ten pins. A player achieving a spare is awarded ten points, plus a bonus of whatever is scored with the next ball. It is typically rendered as a slash on scoresheets in place of the second pin count for a frame. A player who bowls a spare in the tenth frame is awarded one extra ball to allow for the bonus points. Correctly calculating bonus points can be difficult, especially when combinations of strikes and spares come in successive frames. In modern times, however, this has been overcome with automated scoring systems, linked to the machines that set and clear the pins between frames. A computer automatically counts pins that remain standing, and fills in a virtual score sheet. However, even the automated system is not fool-proof, as the computer can miscount the number of pins that remain standing.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Spare

    spār, v.t. to use frugally: to do without: to save from any use: to withhold from: to forbear from harming, to treat tenderly: to part with willingly.—v.i. to be frugal: to forbear: to be tender: to be forgiving.—adj. sparing: frugal: scanty: lean: superfluous.—n. that which has been saved or stored away: in American bowling, a point made by overturning all the pins with the first two balls.—adv. Spare′ly, in a spare manner: sparingly.—ns. Spare′ness; Spār′er, one who spares or avoids expense; Spare′rib, a piece of pork consisting of ribs with the meat adhering to them.—adj. Spā′ring, scarce: scanty: saving: merciful, forgiving.—adv. Spār′ingly, frugally: not abundantly: with abstinence: seldom: cautiously.—n. Spār′ingness, the quality of being sparing: want of liberality: caution. [A.S. sparian, to spare—spær, spare; Ger. spärlich, frugal.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. spare

    An epithet applied to any part of a ship's equipage that lies in reserve, to supply the place of such as may be lost or rendered incapable of service; hence we say, spare tiller, spare top-masts, &c.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. SPARE

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Spare is ranked #43206 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Spare surname appeared 500 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Spare.

    96.4% or 482 total occurrences were White.
    1.8% or 9 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Spare' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2336

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Spare' in Verbs Frequency: #826

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'Spare' in Adjectives Frequency: #622

Anagrams for Spare »

  1. asper

  2. spear

  3. prase

  4. spaer

  5. parse

How to pronounce Spare?

How to say Spare in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Spare in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Spare in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of Spare in a Sentence

  1. Andy Lipow:

    Every day the facility is shut down, the world loses another 5 million barrels of oil production, the world's spare capacity is not 5 million barrels per day.

  2. Briton Ian Poulter:

    I went with a school friend of mine, i needed some extra spare cash, so I was talking to my mate who used to pack away and set up stalls. He said, 'Why don't you come with me?'.

  3. Lucius Annaeus Seneca:

    He who has injured thee was stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him if stronger, spare thyself.

  4. Jason Bordoff:

    We still do depend on that spare capacity to stabilize markets in a way that shale can not substitute for.

  5. Justin Trudeau:

    A trade war doesn’t spare anyone. It will start first of all to hurt U.S. workers.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for Spare

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"Spare." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Spare>.

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