From Wiktionary



Plain form

Third-person singular

Past tense

Past participle

Present participle

  1. (transitive) If you spare (somebody) something, you make it available even though you don't have much of it.
    Excuse, me! Can you spare a few minutes to look at this?
    Can you spare me twenty dollars till the weekend?
    Sorry, man – I can't spare anything. I need it all for gas.
    I'm afraid we're too busy to spare anyone to help you right now.
  2. (transitive); (infinitive only) If you have something to spare, you have something extra.
    She had five minutes to spare before he was due to pick her up.
    Sorry, no time to spare! Got to go! Bye!
    She could get it all inside with room to spare.
  3. (transitive) If you spare somebody something not nice, they don't have to experience it.
    The phone rang, sparing me from having to give an answer.
    "But for your information --;" she lifted a silencing, hand. "Spare me the details, will you?"
    "I'm so upset, I think I'm going to be sick." "Oh, please! Spare me!"
  4. (transitive) If somebody is spared, they live, even though they were expected to die.
    The accident took the life of his wife, but spared his son.
    Please, I beg you, spare him his life!
  5. (transitive) If you spare no expense, effort, detail, etc., you do everything you can.
    They spared no expense for their wedding.
  6. (transitive) If you spare a thought for somebody, you think of them, usually at a time that you are happy, but they are not.
  7. (transitive) If you spare somebody's feelings, you try not to do or say things that will upset them.
    She never hid the truth to spare somebody's feelings.


Related words[change]



more spare

most spare

  1. (usually before a noun) A spare part, room, key, etc. is an extra one, one that is not being used.
    The bags were in the small backseat because the spare tire filled most of the trunk.
    I've got a spare bedroom. You can stay there.
    It took a long time to find enough spare parts to put the car back together.
  2. Your spare time is time when you are not working and you can relax or have fun.
    He spends most of his spare time playing guitar with his friends.
  3. Spare change is coins that are not worth much and that you can give away.
    I often find spare change lying on the floor.
  4. If something is spare, it is plain and has no decoration.
    The room was very spare, with only a window, a single chair, and a ceiling light.
  5. A spare person is tall and thin.





  1. (countable) A spare is an extra thing, such as a key, just in case it is needed.
    Don't worry! I've got a spare in the back room.
  2. (countable) A spare is a tire that you keep in your car in case one of the other tires has a problem.