—v.t. 1. to refrain from harming or destroying; leave uninjured; forbear to punish, hurt, or destroy: to spare one's enemy. 2. to deal gently or leniently with; show consideration for: His harsh criticism spared no one. 3. to save from strain, discomfort, embarrassment, or the like, or from a particular cause of it: to spare him the bother; to spare her needless embarrassment. 4. to refrain from, forbear, omit, or withhold, as action or speech: Spare us the gory details. 5. to refrain from employing, as some instrument or recourse: to spare the rod. 6. to set aside for a particular purpose: to spare land for a garden. 7. to give or lend, as from a supply, esp. without inconvenience or loss: Can you spare a cup of sugar? Can you spare me a dollar till payday? 8. to dispense with or do without: We can't spare a single worker during the rush hour. 9. to use economically or frugally; refrain from using up or wasting: A walnut sundae, and don't spare the whipped cream! 10. to have remaining as excess or surplus: We can make the curtains and have a yard to spare.
—v.i. 1. to use economy; be frugal.
2. to refrain from inflicting injury or punishment; exercise lenience or mercy.
3. Obs.to refrain from action; forbear.
—adj. 1. kept in reserve, as for possible use: a spare part. 2. being in excess of present need; free for other use: spare time. 3. frugally restricted or meager, as a manner of living or a diet: a spare regime. 4. lean or thin, as a person.
5. scanty or scant, as in amount or fullness.
6. sparing, economical, or temperate, as persons.
—n. 1. a spare thing, part, etc., as an extra tire for emergency use.
2. Ceram.an area at the top of a plaster mold for holding excess slip.
3. Bowling. a. the knocking down of all the pins with two bowls.
b. a score so made. Cf. strike (def. 78).