1. To use frugally or stintingly, as that which is scarce or valuable; to retain or keep unused; to save. No cost would he spare. Thou thy Father’s dreadful thunder didst not spare. (milton) He that hath knowledge, spareth his words. (Prov. Xvii. 27)
2. To keep to one’s self; to forbear to impart or give. Be pleased your plitics to spare. (Dryden) Spare my sight the pain Of seeing what a world of tears it costs you. (Dryden)
3. To preserve from danger or punishment; to forbear to punish, injure, or harm; to show mercy to. Spare us, good lord. (book of Common Prayer) Dim sadness did not spare That time celestial visages. (milton) Man alone can whom he conquers spare. (waller)
4. To save or gain, as by frugality; to reserve, as from some occupation, use, or duty. All the time he could spare from the necessary cares of his weighty charge, he estowed on . . . Serving of god. (Knolles)
5. To deprive one’s self of, as by being frugal; to do without; to dispense with; to give up; to part with. Where angry jove did never spare One breath of kind and temperate air. (Roscommon) I could have better spared a better man. (Shak) To spare one’s self. To act with reserve. Her thought that a lady should her spare. (Chaucer) To save one’s self labour, punishment, or blame.
Origin: AS. Sparian, fr. Spaer spare, sparing, saving; akin to D. & G. Sparen, OHG. Sparn, Icel. & Sw. Spara, Dan. Spare See Spare.