from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or quality of being spare.
  • n. The result or product of being spare.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being lean or thin; leanness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being spare, lean, or thin; leanness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the property of being scanty or scattered; lacking denseness
  • n. the property of having little body fat


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From spare +‎ -ness


  • I can see the shape of the wind on the water. [italics mine] Anyone who can write sentences like those italicised above, deceptively simple, or glancingly suggest that we're not so very different from those titmice, as well as set mood, scene, and theme with such spareness, is a seriously good writer.

    One of my tests

  • RestaurantTHE MODERN: For a new dining room overlooking the sculpture garden of New York's Museum of Modern Art, the firm of Bentel & Bentel had to meet restaurateur Danny Meyer's seemingly irreconcilable demand for both "spareness" and "warmth."


  • It has a clean, almost apothecary spareness, with lots of sharp angles and galvanized steel and slate.


  • The spareness of the set contributes to this feeling of inertness.

    Howard Kissel: The Met's New Faust

  • But Barbara Vine has a classy spareness to her writing, and an unerring instinct for the place where festering emotions turn pathological.

    Catching Up « Tales from the Reading Room

  • He was rather undersized, as Chinese go, and the Chinese narrow shoulders and spareness of flesh were his.

    Chun Ah Chun

  • And where some perfumers sought opulence, others pursued spareness and simplicity.

    Scents And Sensibility

  • There is a surprising wealth of transepts, side-chapels, and little forgotten mosaics here and there, despite the overall ordered spareness of the interior, and while I know nothing of the liturgy of the parish, one is amazed by the spacious potential for solemn liturgy that could be had if it was desired.

    St. Monica's, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin

  • I learned that great rock was not about volume and wildness, but about precision and spareness.

    Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso in London

  • Bellow, who confessed to reading the King James Bible all his life, drew on its "stylistic spareness" as a counterweight to "the exuberant side of his writing."

    Beginning With the Word


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