One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A thick, strong pole such as is used for a mast or yard on a ship.
- ‘Every point is held together by the spar that sticks up in the center.’
- ‘The spars - those are those huge, diagonal sticks hanging from the masts - are the frame for the sails.’
- ‘Fearing they would be blown into the island cliffs, the crew furled the main sail, then to lower the ship's profile further, Alexander ordered the main spar lowered.’
- ‘Although these canoes are covered with birchbark, this skin, like that of a kayak, is stretched over a framework of ribs and spars.’
- 1.1 The main longitudinal beam of an aeroplane wing.
- ‘It had a single two-bladed propeller in the front and high wings secured by a pair of metal spars from the bottom of the fuselage, which was white with a blue stripe to the tail.’
- ‘The aircraft has twelve integral fuel tanks installed between the front and back spars in the wings.’
- ‘GKN Aerospace of the UK is to supply the complex carbon composite wing spars.’
Middle English: shortening of Old French esparre, or from Old Norse sperra; related to Dutch spar and German Sparren.
verbspars, sparred, sparring[no object]
1Make the motions of boxing without landing heavy blows, as a form of training.‘one contestant broke his nose while sparring’
- ‘He spars with him at least three hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.’
- ‘Usually he'd be here before him, practicing and sparring.’
- ‘They were sparring in his father's paddy fields.’
- ‘Feeling suddenly claustrophobic, he headed for the training yards, where he sparred half-heartedly with a few others.’
- ‘We witness combat between two males sparring over a mate, and the sight of these two massive animals hurtling themselves at each other is amazing.’
- ‘We got chatting at the gym and would sometimes spar together.’
- ‘Later that evening she stood before her father, prepared to spar in the training hall.’
- ‘I sparred with Cassius Clay, as he was called then - I taught him everything he knew.’
- ‘Jason, you spar with Denise and I'll spar with Mark.’
- ‘It was while using one of these places I first met a sparring bloke, who taught me how to spar, and showed me the way to put my dukes up.’
- ‘It wasn't a distraction while sparring, but it was annoying.’
- ‘Right now, we'll be practicing some martial arts sparring.’
- ‘They begin a round of verbal sparring about their past together, Linklater's camera constantly swivelling to catch all the insults as they fly across the room.’
- ‘He wanders into a local gym, sees world welterweight champion Yuri in the ring, and offers to spar with him.’
- ‘He's introduced on stage, where amidst the dancers he stands at the end of a row, sparring with a punching bag.’
- ‘Truly, though, Shen liked to spar in the training room.’
- ‘During those two sparring sessions, Parker clearly got the best of it.’
- ‘We were sparring in the afternoon, just like we always do.’
- ‘She was not quite up to verbally sparring with Sam yet.’
- ‘We trained, sparred, fought, ate, and laughed together ever since childhood.’
- ‘She looked up and saw many people in deep concentration, sparring with their partners, trading blows with great speed and accuracy.’
- ‘It's like the music in the movies where the hero is training for greatness; sparring in a basement with a punching bag or running like the wind or something.’
- ‘Mentally sparring with these leadership thinkers was like going a round with the intellectual heavyweight champion of the world.’
- ‘They're merely sparring, feeling each other out, which plays directly into Orson's hands.’
- 1.1 Argue with someone without marked hostility.‘mother and daughter spar regularly over drink, drugs, and career’
quarrel, argue, have a fight, have a row, row, fight, disagree, fail to agree, differ, be at odds, have a misunderstanding, be at variance, fall out, dispute, squabble, brawl, bicker, chop logic, wrangle, bandy words, cross swords, lock horns, be at each other's throats, be at loggerheadsView synonyms
- ‘By the numbers - doctors, province spar over figures’
2(of a gamecock) fight with the feet or spurs.
1A period or bout of sparring.
- ‘This wasn't a spar in the training room in Sunstone.’
- ‘They were matching each other move for move in a spar.’
- ‘Remembering the spars she had had with the brothers, she smiled.’
- ‘Maybe she could beat him in a spar match, but he wouldn't find out until the annual martial arts tournament at school.’
2informal A close friend.‘Buster was his spar and he didn't want to let him down’
Old English sperran, spyrran ‘strike out’, of unknown origin; compare with Old Norse sperrask ‘kick out’.
usually in combination or with modifier A crystalline, easily cleavable, translucent or transparent mineral.
Late 16th century: from Middle Low German; related to Old English spærstān ‘gypsum’.
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.