Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: sparian

spare

2 verb
     
spare2 S3 [transitive]
1

give

to make something such as time, money, or workers available for someone, especially when this is difficult for you to do:
Sorry, I can't spare the time.
I'd like you to come over when you can spare a couple of hours.
Can you spare £5?
spare somebody/something to do something
We're too busy to spare anyone to help you right now.
spare somebody ten minutes/an hour etc
Could you possibly spare me a few moments in private (=used to ask someone if they have time to quickly talk to you)?
It's very kind of you to spare me so much of your time.
2

money/time etc to spare

if you have time, money etc to spare, you have some left in addition to what you have used or need:
Anyone who has time to spare and would like to help can contact Moira.
with something to spare
They got to the airport with seconds to spare.
They still have some money to spare.
3

spare somebody the trouble/difficulty/pain etc (of doing something)

to prevent someone from having to experience something difficult or unpleasant:
I wanted to spare them the trouble of buying me a present.
Thankfully she had been spared the ordeal of surgery.
4

not damage or harm

to not damage or harm someone or something, even though other people or things are being damaged, killed, or destroyed:
I could not understand why I had been spared and they had not.
the soldier who had spared his life
spare somebody/something from something
Today we will hear whether the school is to be spared from closure.
5

spare a thought for somebody

to think about another person who is in a worse situation than you are:
Spare a thought for Nick, who's doing his exams right now.
6

spare no expense/effort

to spend as much money or do everything necessary to make something really good or successful
spare no expense/effort to do something
No expense was spared in developing the necessary technology.
No effort will be spared to bring the people responsible to justice.
7

spare somebody (the details)

to not tell someone all the details about something, because it is unpleasant or boring:
He spared us the details, saying only that he had been injured in the war.
'They own three houses. One in the country, one in...' ' Spare me.'
8

spare somebody's feelings

to avoid doing something that would upset someone:
Just tell me the truth. Don't worry about sparing my feelings.
9

spare a glance

British English written to look quickly at someone or something
spare a glance at
Before leaving the old town, spare another glance at the tower.
spare somebody/something a glance
a bored waitress who scarcely spared them a glance
10

spare somebody's blushes

British English to avoid doing something that would embarrass someone

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