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spare - definition and synonyms

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verb [transitive]     spare pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlesparing
past tensespared
past participlespared
  1. 1
    if you can spare something, you can give or lend it to someone because you don’t need it

    Can you spare a couple of dollars?

    We can’t spare the staff for training sessions.

  2. 2
    if you can spare time, effort, or energy, you use it for a particular purpose

    I’m sorry, I can’t spare any more energy on this problem right now.

    We arrived at the airport with just 20 minutes to spare.

    spare someone something:

    It’s kind of you to spare me a moment.

  3. 3
    formal to not harm, damage, or kill someone or something

    Civilians were not spared in the attack.

    spare someone’s life:

    The commander was so impressed by their bravery that he spared their lives.

  4. 4
    to prevent someone from experiencing an unpleasant, painful, or embarrassing situation or feeling
    spare someone the embarrassment/pain/trouble etc.:

    At least spare him the humiliation of having to ask for money.

    spare someone something:

    Thank God she had been spared the ordeal of surgery.

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