spare Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “spare” in the English Dictionary

"spare" in British English

See all translations

spareadjective

uk   /speər/  us   /sper/
  • spare adjective (EXTRA)

B1 If something is spare, it is ​available to use because it is ​extra: a spare ​key/​tyre spare ​sheets and ​blankets Do you have a spare ​pen? We have a spare room if you ​want to ​stayovernight with us. Could I have a word with you when you have a spare moment/​minute?UK informal "Do you ​want this ​cake?" "Yes, if it's going spare (= if no one ​elsewants it)."
spare time
A2 time when you are not ​working: I like to ​paint in my spare ​time.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

spareverb

uk   /speər/  us   /sper/
  • spare verb (SAVE)

[T] to not ​hurt or ​destroy something or someone: They ​asked him to spare the women and ​children.
  • spare verb (TRY HARD)

spare no effort/expense
C2 to use a lot of ​effort, ​expense, etc. to do something: [+ to infinitive] We will spare no ​effort tofind out who did this.
not spare yourself UK formal
to ​try as hard as you can to ​achieve something: She never spared herself in the ​pursuit of ​excellence.
  • spare verb (GIVE)

C1 [T] to give ​time, ​money, or ​space to someone, ​especially when it is ​difficult for you: [+ two objects] Could you spare me £20? I'd ​love to come, but I can't spare the ​time.
spare a thought for sb
C2 to ​think about someone who is in a ​difficult or ​unpleasantsituation: Spare a ​thought for me ​tomorrow, when you're ​lying on a ​beach, because I'll still be here in the ​office!
to spare
C1 left over or more than you need: If you have any woolyarn to spare when you've ​finished the ​sweater, can you make me some ​gloves? I ​caught the ​plane with only two ​minutes to spare. There's no ​time/We have no ​time to spare if we ​want to get the ​article written by ​tomorrow.

sparenoun

uk   /speər/  us   /sper/
[C] an ​extra thing that is not being used and can be used ​instead of a ​part that is ​broken, ​lost, etc.
[C usually plural] (also spare part) a ​piece that can be used to ​replace another ​similarpiece in a ​car or other ​device
(Definition of spare from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"spare" in American English

See all translations

spareverb [T]

 us   /speər/
  • spare verb [T] (SAVE)

to ​decide not to ​hurt or ​destroy something or someone: By ​reducingworkers’ ​hours, the ​company spared some people's ​jobs.
  • spare verb [T] (AVOID)

to ​avoid something: A ​quietchat about this would spare everyone ​embarrassment.
  • spare verb [T] (GIVE)

to give or use something because you have enough ​available: Can you spare a ​dollar? I’d ​love to come, but I’m ​afraid I can’t spare the ​time.

spareadjective

 us   /speər/
  • spare adjective (EXTRA)

[not gradable] not being used, or more than what is usually ​needed: I ​keep my spare ​change in a ​jar.
  • spare adjective (THIN)

[-er/-est only] (of ​people) ​thin with no ​extrafat on the ​body: He had the spare ​build of a ​runner.

sparenoun [C]

 us   /spær, sper/
  • spare noun [C] (EXTRA THING)

an ​extra thing that is not being used and can be used ​instead of a ​part that is ​broken, ​lost, etc.: In ​case I ​lose my ​key, I ​keep a spare in the ​garage.
(Definition of spare from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of spare?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day

flavoursome

having good flavour or a lot of flavour

Word of the Day

bio-banding noun
bio-banding noun
April 25, 2016
in sport, grouping children according to their physical maturity rather than their age ‘When we’re grouping children for sports, we do it by age groups, but the problem is that, within those age groups, we get huge variations in biological age,’ said Dr Sean Cumming, senior lecturer at the University of Bath’s department for

Read More