Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sparian; akin to Old High German sparōn to spare, Old English spær, adjective, scant
Date: before 12th century
1. to forbear to destroy, punish, or harm
2. to refrain from attacking or reprimanding with necessary or salutary severity
3. to relieve of the necessity of doing or undergoing something <spare yourself the trouble> 4. to refrain from ; avoid <spared no expense> 5. to use or dispense frugally — used chiefly in the negative <don't spare the syrup> 6. a. to give up as not strictly needed <do you have any cash to spare> b. to have left over or as margin <time to spare> intransitive verb 1. to be frugal 2. to refrain from doing harm • spareable adjective • sparer noun II. adjective (sparer; sparest) Etymology: Middle English, from Old English spær sparing, scant; akin to Old High German spar spare Date: 14th century 1. not being used; especially held for emergency use <a spare tire> 2. being over and above what is needed ; superfluous <spare time> 3. not liberal or profuse ; sparing <a spare prose style> 4. healthily lean 5. not abundant or plentiful Synonyms: see lean, meager • sparely adverb • spareness noun III. noun Date: 1907 1. a. a spare tire b. a duplicate (as a key or a machine part) kept in reserve 2. the knocking down of all 10 pins with the first 2 balls in a frame in bowling
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.