Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Occurring, growing, or settled at widely spaced intervals; not thick or dense.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To disperse; scatter.
  • Thinly scattered; dispersed round about; existing at considerable intervals; as used of population or the like, not dense.
  • In botany, scattered; placed distantly or irregularly without any apparent or regular order: applied to branches, leaves, peduncles, etc.
  • In zoology, spare or remote, as spots or other markings: scattered irregularly; few or scanty, as hairs or other appendages.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To scatter; to disperse.
  • adjective Thinly scattered; set or planted here and there; not being dense or close together.
  • adjective (Bot.) Placed irregularly and distantly; scattered; -- applied to branches, leaves, peduncles, and the like.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Having widely spaced intervals.
  • adjective Not dense; meager.
  • verb obsolete To scatter; to disperse.

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

  • adjective not dense

Etymologies

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

[Latin sparsus, past participle of spargere, to scatter.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin sparsus.

Examples

  • He said the court's order, which he described as "sparse," potentially leaves the door open for the governor to return with a more-specific letter spelling out reasons for removal.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • I chatted with a DNR wildlife biologist responsible for NW GA a couple of weeks ago looking for hogs and he advised that they remain sparse in that section of the state.

    This is probably a more regional question than most; but is there a place in NW GA with good hog hunting?

  • I chatted with a DNR wildlife biologist responsible for NW GA a couple of weeks ago looking for hogs and he advised that they remain sparse in that section of the state.

    This is probably a more regional question than most; but is there a place in NW GA with good hog hunting?

  • Heaps may be the favorite, though Nelson -- who mostly handed off or ran in sparse duty last season -- has the experience edge and also may have the confidence of current players.

    BYU - Team Notes

  • It's a piece of quiet virtuosity — Carter spends more time than most composers would exploring the instrument's low range, and much of the middle sections, both slow and fast, are an exercise in sparse lontano orchestration, the interplay between horn and orchestra seeming to come from very far away.

    Magna Carter (8): You've got a head start

  • It's a piece of quiet virtuosity — Carter spends more time than most composers would exploring the instrument's low range, and much of the middle sections, both slow and fast, are an exercise in sparse lontano orchestration, the interplay between horn and orchestra seeming to come from very far away.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • M.I.A. Hip-hop electro, Jamaican dancehall, Brazilian baile funk, South Asian bhangra — Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., draws on all of them in sparse, noisy, low-fi groove tracks that sound like they come from some imagined third world street.

    CMJ Music Marathon - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

  • M.I.A. Hip-hop electro, Jamaican dancehall, Brazilian baile funk, South Asian bhangra — Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., draws on all of them in sparse, noisy, low-fi groove tracks that sound like they come from some imagined third world street.

    CMJ Music Marathon - ArtsBeat Blog - NYTimes.com

  • We spent the rest of the day experimenting with a swim frog in sparse patches, which produced several chases and a couple of bites.

    Learn to Become a Bass Fishing Pro

  • Thank you for the review, March mentioned you'd done this - I agree with all re the previous ones - minimal, coldness are excellent descriptions - I used the word sparse earlier to March.

    Perfume Review: Ineke Evening Edged in Gold

Comments

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  • From the book The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. pg.148

    "To my left and back,sparse piney woods."

    November 29, 2010