Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “spare”

See all translations

spare

verb [T]  /speər/ us  

spare verb [T] (SAVE)

to decide not to hurt or destroy something or someone: By reducing workershours, the company spared some people's jobs.

spare verb [T] (AVOID)

to avoid something: A quiet chat 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.

spare

adjective  /speər/ us  

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 extra fat on the body: He had the spare build of a runner.

spare

noun [C]  /spær, sper/ us  

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

Definitions of “spare” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More