Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

spare - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective spare pronunciation in British English /speə(r)/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [only before noun] a spare object is one that you keep in addition to other similar objects so that it is available if you need it

    a spare key/battery/pair of glasses

    Bring a towel and some spare clothes.

  2. 2

    Every spare patch of land has been converted into a vegetable garden.

    The hospital has no spare operating capacity.

    1. a.
      available to be shared, or given to someone, because it is additional to what you need for yourself

      the spare bedroom

  3. 3
    literary thin

    She was about thirty-seven, tall, and spare.

  4. 4
    literary plain and simple without any unnecessary detail or decoration

    a spare writing style



a title used before a man or woman's name as a gender-neutral alternative to Mr, Ms, etc

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


another way of saying congratulations, or that something/someone looks nice or fascinating

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play