adjective (sparser; sparsest) Etymology: Latin sparsus spread out, from past participle of spargere to scatter — more at spark Date: 1753 of few and scattered elements; especially not thickly grown or settled Synonyms: see meagersparsely adverbsparseness nounsparsity noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sparse — Sparse, a. [Compar. {Sparser}; superl. {Sparsest}.] [L. sparsus, p. p. of spargere to strew, scatter. Cf. {Asperse}, {Disperse}.] 1. Thinly scattered; set or planted here and there; not being dense or close together; as, a sparse population.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sparse — [spa:s US spa:rs] adj [Date: 1700 1800; : Latin; Origin: sparsus spread out , from the past participle of spargere to scatter ] existing only in small amounts ▪ his sparse brown hair ▪ rural areas with sparse population >sparsely adv ▪ a… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • sparse — [ spars ] adjective existing in small amounts, or very spread out: Higher up the mountain, houses became sparse. ╾ sparse|ly adverb: a sparsely populated country …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • sparse — sparse·ly; sparse·ness; sparse; …   English syllables

  • Sparse — Sparse, v. t. [L. sparsus, p. p. of spargere to scatter.] To scatter; to disperse. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sparse — index barren, deficient, infrequent, insufficient, petty, scarce, sporadic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • sparse — (adj.) 1727, from L. sparsus scattered, pp. of spargere to scatter, spread, from PIE root * (s)pregh to jerk, scatter (Cf. Skt. parjanya rain, rain god, Avestan fra sparega branch, twig, lit. that which is jerked off a tree, O.N. freknur freckles …   Etymology dictionary

  • sparse — *meager, spare, exiguous, scanty, scant, skimpy, scrimpy Analogous words: scattered, dispersed (see SCATTER): sporadic, occasional, infrequent, uncommon: *thin, slim, slender Antonyms: dense Contrasted words: *close, thick, compact …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • sparse — [adj] very few and scattered dispersed, exiguous, few and far between, inadequate, infrequent, meager, occasional, poor, rare, scant, scanty, scarce, scrimpy, skimpy, spare, sporadic, thin, uncommon; concepts 762,789 Ant. full, lush, plentiful …   New thesaurus

  • sparse — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ thinly dispersed. DERIVATIVES sparsely adverb sparseness noun sparsity noun. ORIGIN Latin sparsus, from spargere scatter …   English terms dictionary

  • sparse — [spärs] adj. sparser, sparsest [L sparsus, pp. of spargere, to scatter: see SPARK1] thinly spread or distributed; not dense or crowded SYN. MEAGER sparsely adv. sparseness n. sparsity [spar′sə tē] …   English World dictionary

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