Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “sparing”


adjective     /ˈspeə.rɪŋ/ US  /ˈsper.ɪŋ/
using very little of something: Be sparing with the butter as we don't have much left. He is sparing with/in his praise (= praises people very little).Self-control and moderation sparingly     /-li/ adverb There wasn't enough coal during the war, so we had to use it sparingly.Self-control and moderation
(Definition of sparing adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of sparing

Definitions of “sparing” in other dictionaries

Translations of “sparing”

Word of the Day


a document given to students or reporters which contains information about a particular subject

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More