Dictionary: SPAN'-LONG – SPARK

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Of the length of a span. – B. Jonson.


Measured with the hand.


  1. One that spans.
  2. The lock of a fusee or carbine; or the fusee itself. – Bailey. Bowering.
  3. A wrench or nut screw-driver.

SPAN'-NEW, a. [G. spannen; allied perhaps to spangle.]

Quite new; probably bright-new.


Measuring with the hand; encompassing with the fingers.

SPAR, n. [D. spar, a rafter, a shingle; G. sparren, a spar, a rafter; Dan. spar, a spar, a small beam, the bar of a gate; Sw. sparre, a rafter; Fr. barre; It. sbarra, a bar; Sp. esparr, a fossil; espar, a drug. If this word is connected with spare, the primary sense is probably thin. The sense of bar and spar, is however more generally derived from thrusting, shooting in length; so spear likewise. See Bar.]

  1. A stone that breaks into a regular shape; marcasite. This name is popularly given to any crystalized mineral of a shining luster. It is the G. spath.
  2. A round piece of timber. This name is usually given the round pieces of timbers used for the yards and top-mast of ships.
  3. The bar of a gate. [Obs.] – Chaucer.

SPAR, v.i. [Sax. spirian, to argue or dispute, to aspire; Russ. sporyu, to dispute, to contend; Ir. sparnam. The Saxon word signifies to dispute, also to investigate, to inquire or explore, to follow after. This is another form of the L. spiro, Gr. σπαιρω, σπειρω. Τηε primary sense is to urge, drive, throw, propel.]

  1. To dispute; to quarrel in words; to wrangle. [This is the meaning of the word in America.]
  2. To fight with prelusive strokes. – Johnson.

SPAR, v.t. [Sax. sparran; G. sperren; from spar.]

To bar; to shut close or fasten with a bar. – Chaucer.

SPAR-A-DRAP, n. [Fr.]

A cere-cloth. [Not English.]

SPAR'AGE, or SPAR'A-GUS, n. [Vulgar.]


SPARE, a. [Sax. spær.]

  1. Scanty; parsimonious; not abundant; as, a spare diet. He was spare but discreet of speech. – Carew. [We more generally use, in the latter application, sparing; as, he was sparing of words.]
  2. That can be dispensed with; not wanted; superfluous. I have no spare time on my hands. If that no spare clothes he had to give. – Spenser.
  3. Lean; wanting flesh; meager; thin. O give me your spare men, and spare me the great ones. – Shak.
  4. Slow. [Not in use or local.] – Grose.


Parsimony; frugal use. [Not in use.] – Bacon.

SPARE, v.i.

  1. To live frugally; to be parsimonious. Who at some times spend, at others spare; / Divided between carelessness and care. – Pope.
  2. To forbear; to be scrupulous. To pluck and eat my fill I spar'd not. – Milton.
  3. To be frugal; not to be profuse.
  4. To use mercy or forbearance; to forgive; to be tender. The king was sparing and compassionate toward his subjects. – Bacon.

SPARE, v.t. [Sax. sparian; D. spaaren; G. sparen; Dan. sparer; Sw. spara; Fr. eparagner. It seems to be from the same root as L. parco; It. sparagnare.]

  1. To use frugally; not to be profuse; not to waste. Thou thy Father's thunder didst not spare. – Milton.
  2. To save or withhold from any particular use or occupation. He has no bread to spare, that is, to withhold from his necessary uses. All the time he could spare from the necessary cares of his weighty charge, he bestowed on prayer and serving God. – Knolles.
  3. To part with without much inconvenience; to do without. I could have better spar'd a better man. – Shak. Nor can we spare you long. – Dryden.
  4. To omit; to forbear. We might have spared this toil and expense. Be pleas'd your politics to spare. – Dryden.
  5. To use tenderly; to treat with pity and forbearance; to forbear to afflict, punish or destroy. Spare us, good Lord. – Com. Prayer. Dim sadness did not spare / Celestial visages. – Milton. But man alone can whom He conquers spare. – Waller.
  6. Not to take when in one's power; to forbear to destroy; as, to spare the life of a prisoner.
  7. To grant; to allow; to indulge. Where angry Jove did never spare / One breath of kind and delicate air. – Roscommon.
  8. To forbear to inflict or impose. Spare my sight the pain / Of seeing what a world of tears it cost you. – Dryden.

SPAR'ED, pp.

Dispensed with; saved; forborne.

SPARE'LY, adv.

Sparingly. – Milton.


State of being lean or thin; leanness. – Hammond.


One that avoids unnecessary expense. – Wotton.

SPARE'-RIB, n. [D. spier, a muscle, and rib.]

The piece of a hog taken from the side, consisting of the ribs with little flesh on them.

SPAR-GE-FAC'TION, n. [L. spargo, to sprinkle.]

The act of sprinkling. [Not used.] – Dict.


Hung with spar, as a cave. – Holmes.

SPAR'ING, ppr.

  1. Using frugally; forbearing; omitting to punish or destroy.
  2. adj. Scarce; little. Of this there is with you sparing memory, or none. – Bacon.
  3. Scanty; not plentiful; not abundant; as, a sparing diet.
  4. Saving; parsimonious. Virgil being so very sparing of his words, and leaving so much to be imagined by the reader, can never be translated as he ought in any modern tongue. – Dryden.


  1. Not abundantly. – Shak.
  2. Frugally; parsimoniously; not lavishly. High titles of honor were in the king's minority sparingly granted, because dignity then waited on desert. – Hayward. Commend but sparingly whom thou dost love. – Denham.
  3. Abstinently; moderately. Christians are obliged to taste even the innocent pleasures of life but sparingly. – Atterbury.
  4. Seldom; not frequently. The morality of a grave sentence, affected by Lucan, is more sparingly used by Virgil. – Dryden.
  5. Cautiously; tenderly. – Bacon.


  1. Parsimony; want of liberality.
  2. Caution. – Barrow.

SPARK, n. [Sax. spearc; D. spartelen, to flutter, to sparkle; Dan. sparker, to wince or kick. The sense is that which shoots, darts off or scatters; probably allied to L. spargo and Russ. sverkayu.]

  1. A small particle of fire or ignited substance, which is emitted from bodies in combustion, and which either ascends with the smoke, or is darted in another direction. – Pope.
  2. A small shining body or transient light. We have here and there a little clear light, and some sparks of bright knowledge. – Locke.
  3. A small portion of any thing active. If any spark of life is yet remaining.
  4. A very small portion. If you have a spark of generosity.
  5. A brisk, showy, gay man. The finest sparks and cleanest beaux. – Prior.
  6. A lover.