from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Given to or marked by prudence and restraint in the use of material resources.
  • adj. Deficient or limited in quantity, fullness, or extent.
  • adj. Forbearing; lenient.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. prudent and restrained in the use of resources; careful, economical or frugal
  • v. Present participle of spare.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Spare; saving; frugal; merciful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Parsimony.
  • n. plural That which is saved by frugality or economy; savings.
  • n. The state of being spared from harm or death.
  • Inclined to spare or save; economical; frugal; chary; grudging.
  • Of a spare amount, quantity, or extent; not abundant or lavish; limited; scanty; restrained: as, a sparing diet; sparing applause.
  • Inclined to spare from harm or hardship; not oppressive; forbearing.

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

  • adj. avoiding waste


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • On September 26, 1946, she and George carried out the charade of their second nuptials—even taking themselves downtown to the New York Municipal Building and obtaining another license—all in the name of sparing her parents “the pain” of their secret elopement.

    A Covert Affair

  • Many patients are over 40% weight loss, with no surgery, and many with surgery, or post protein sparing diets.

    Dr. Sharma’s Obesity Notes » Blog Archive » Surgical vs. Non-Surgical Weight-Loss Maintenance

  • Today it is the privilege of this joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and The Canadian Club to welcome him and to express to him our very sincere appreciation of his kindness in sparing time to come and talk to us.

    The Secret of the Spirit of Britain

  • My dear John - Thanks for your kind attention in sparing me as much as possible all alarm and anxiety.

    New Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle

  • Eugenia strictly obeyed: in sparing Lionel she spared also her father, whom his highly unfeeling behaviour with regard to Sir Sedley would yet further have incensed and grieved; and, in doing justice to Edgar, she flattered herself she prevented an alienation from one yet destined to be nearly allied to him, since time, she still hoped, would effect the reconciliation of Camilla with the youth whom – next to Melmond – she thought the most amiable upon earth.

    Camilla: or, A Picture of Youth

  • Roth: Children are entirely more open and receptive to the idea of sparing the lives of animals.

    Christine Escobar: Talking With Ruby Roth, Vegan Children's Book Author

  • But he would not listen to the idea of sparing anybody; he declared he must and would bring the case to court at once, for, he said, your brother was a drunkard and a debt-contractor.

    The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 09 Friedrich Hebbel and Otto Ludwig

  • There is no reason to suppose that the idea of sparing him was ever entertained; but, wherever the blame lay, he was led to believe that a recantation might save him; and he did now at last break down utterly, and recant in the most abject terms.

    England under the Tudors

  • Don't be afraid of saying what you really think, "he added scornfully," with the notion of sparing me.

    Questionable Shapes

  • Often, in the midst of such a dinner, I recall our sparing meals in the convent; our soup maigre and snow eggs, our cool salads and black bread -- and regret that simple food, while the reeking joints and hecatombs of fowl nauseate my senses.

    London Pride Or When the World Was Younger


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.