/ speə(r); NAmE sper/ adjective , verb , noun
NOT USED / NEEDED
[ usually before noun ] that is not being used or is not needed at the present time :
We've got a spare bedroom, if you'd like to stay.
I'm afraid I haven't got any spare cash .
Are there any tickets going spare (= are there any available, not being used by sb else) ?
[ only before noun ] kept in case you need to replace the one you usually use; extra :
a spare key / tyre
Take some spare clothes in case you get wet.
available to do what you want with rather than work :
He's studying music in his spare time .
I haven't had a spare moment this morning.
thin, and usually quite tall
- go spare
TIME / MONEY / ROOM / THOUGHT, etc.
spare sth/sb (for sb/sth) | spare (sb) sth to make sth such as time or money available to sb or for sth, especially when it requires an effort for you to do this :
[ vn ]
I'd love to have a break, but I can't spare the time just now.
We can only spare one room for you.
Could you spare one of your staff to help us out?
You should spare a thought for (= think about) the person who cleans up after you.
[ vnn ]
Surely you can spare me a few minutes?
SAVE SB PAIN / TROUBLE
spare sb / yourself (from) sth to save sb/yourself from having to go through an unpleasant experience :
[ vnn ]
He wanted to spare his mother any anxiety.
Please spare me (= do not tell me) the gruesome details .
You could have spared yourself an unnecessary trip by phoning in advance.
[ vn ]
She was spared from the ordeal of appearing in court.
NOT HARM / DAMAGE
[ usually passive ] spare sb/sth (from sth) ( formal ) to allow sb/sth to escape harm, damage or death, especially when others do not escape it :
[ vn ]
They killed the men but spared the children.
During the bombing only one house was spared (= was not hit by a bomb) .
[also vnn ]
NO EFFORT / EXPENSE, etc.
[ vn ] to do everything possible to achieve sth or to do sth well without trying to limit the time or money involved :
He spared no effort to make her happy again.
No expense was spared in furnishing the new office.
[ vn ] not ~ yourself to work as hard as possible
- spare sb's blushes
- spare sb's feelings
- to spare
an extra thing that you keep in case you need to replace the one you usually use (used especially about a tyre of a car) :
to get the spare out of the boot / trunk
I've lost my key and I haven't got a spare.
spares [ pl. ] ( especially BrE ) = spare parts :
It can be difficult to get spares for some older makes of car.
Old English spær not plentiful, meagre , sparian refrain from injuring , refrain from using , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German sparen to spare.