Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to spare: Spare parts, Hot spare
home, James (, and don't spare the horses)
A humorous directive for a driver to take one home directly and without delay. Thank goodness you finally came to pick me up. Home, James, and don't spare the horses! You know, shouting "home, James" every time you get in the car is starting to get a little tiresome.
spare (someone's) blushes
To keep from making someone feel embarrassed or awkward. However, due to your family's great service to the crown, we will spare your blushes and not create a public scandal around this debacle. I tried sparing her blushes when she asked me to prom by saying I had no intention of going with anyone.
1. A layer of excess fat around one's midsection. Primarily heard in UK. I think I need to lay off the lager, because this spare tyre of mine is getting a bit out of hand.
2. An unhelpful, unnecessary, unproductive, or unwanted person in a group. Primarily heard in UK. There are a few spare tyres on this project who are really holding back our progress. Ever since John's girlfriend started hanging out with us, it's left me feeling like a spare tyre.
and something to spareand with something to spare
Fig. with extra left over; with more than is needed. I had as much flour as I needed with some to spare. Fred said he should have enough cash to last the week—with money to spare.
enough and some to spare
Fig. plenty. Would you like some more pie? We've got enough and some to spare. Mary: Can I borrow a cup of milk? Tom: Don't worry about borrowing. Take it. I have enough and some to spare.
have something to spare
Fig. to have more than enough of something. Ask John for some firewood. He has firewood to spare. Do you have any candy to spare?
in one's spare time
in one's extra time; in the time not reserved for work or doing something else. I write novels in my spare time. I'll try to paint the house in my spare time.
not a moment to spareand without a moment to spare
just in time; with no extra time. Hurry, hurry! There's not a moment to spare! I arrived without a moment to spare.
spare someone something
to exempt someone from having to listen to or experience something. I'll spare you the details and get to the point. Please, spare me the story and tell me what you want.
spare the rod and spoil the child.
Prov. You should punish a child when he or she misbehaves, because if you do not, the child will grow up expecting everyone to indulge him or her. Jane: How can you allow your little boy to be so rude? Ellen: It distresses me to punish him. Jane: lean understand that, but spare the rod and spoil the child.
1. a thickness in the waist; a roll of fat around one's waist. I've got to get rid of this spare tire. The spare tire started when I was twenty-six.
2. an unneeded person; an unproductive person. Gary is a spare tire. Send him home. You spare tires over there! Get to work.
spare no effort to do something
to work as hard as possible to achieve something Emergency services have spared no effort to help people whose homes were destroyed by the tornadoes.Related vocabulary: spare no expense
spare no expense
to not consider the cost of something The team spared no expense in hiring players last year.Related vocabulary: spare no effort to do something
have something to spare
to have something available to use I'm doing a survey and I wonder if you have five minutes to spare.
save/spare somebody's blushes(British & Australian)
to do something to prevent someone feeling embarrassed Granger saved the team's blushes by scoring the only goal in the last five minutes of the game. The audience's blushes were spared because the censors had removed all the explicit sex scenes from the film.
no expense is spared
if no expense is spared in arranging something, a lot of money is spent to make it extremely good No expense was spared in making the guests feel comfortable.See and hang the cost
be going spare(British & Australian)
if something is going spare, you can have it because no one else wants it 'Do you want some more cheesecake?' 'Yes, if it's going spare.'
be like a spare prick at a wedding(British taboo, humorous)
to feel silly because you are present at an event but no one needs you and no one is talking to you Everyone else there had come with their partners and I was left feeling like a spare prick at a wedding.
Don't spare the horses.(Australian informal)
something that you say to someone in order to tell them to hurry Go and buy some milk and don't spare the horses.
go spare(British & Australian informal)
to become very angry She'd go spare if she found out he was spending all that money.See save blushes
spare the rod and spoil the child
Discipline is necessary for good upbringing, as in She lets Richard get away with anything-spare the rod, you know. This adage appears in the Bible (Proverbs 13:24) and made its way into practically every proverb collection. It originally referred to corporal punishment. It is still quoted, often in shortened form, and today does not necessarily mean physical discipline.
Fat around one's middle, as in He's determined to lose ten pounds and that spare tire he's acquired. This expression transfers the term for an extra tire carried in cars in case of a flat tire to excess fat around the waist. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
In addition to what is needed, extra, left over, as in We paid our bills and still had money to spare. This expression uses spare in the sense of "leftover" or "unused," a usage dating from the late 1500s.
1. n. a thickness in the waist; a roll of fat around one’s waist. The spare tire started when I was twenty-six.
2. n. an unneeded person; an unproductive person. Gary is a spare tire. Send him home.
In addition to what is needed: We paid our bills and had money to spare.