Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to spar: ESPAR

spar with (one)

1. Literally, to practice against or train with one, as in boxing. I love sparring with Tom, but I've become too familiar with his personal habits in the ring, so I need to find someone new. Each time we blow the whistle, everyone in the inner circle will move to the left so you can spar with a new opponent.
2. To debate, argue, or quibble with someone (about something). Even though he was an incredibly frustrating guy, I have to admit that I'll miss sparring with him in class each week. The two candidates will spar with one another during a televised debate this coming Saturday.
See also: spar

sparring partner

1. Literally, someone with whom one practices martial arts or boxing. OK, John here is going to be your new sparring partner. He's tougher than you're used to, but he'll help your skills improve.
2. By extension, someone with whom one engages in a debate, argument, or heated discussion, especially when one enjoys doing so. I was sad to hear he wouldn't be in the class next semester—he was my favorite sparring partner during class discussions. The two have been sparring partners on the morning talk show for nearly ten years.
See also: partner, spar
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

spar with someone

1. Lit. to box with someone for practice. The champ needs someone to spar with every day. Ted was sparring with his brother when the phone rang and saved him from further exertion.
2. Fig. to argue or quibble with someone. I think you really enjoy sparring with people just to irritate them. stop sparring with me! I am not here to argue.
See also: spar
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

sparring partner

An individual with whom one enjoys arguing, as in Jim's my best sparring partner. This expression alludes to boxing, where since about 1900 it has denoted the person one practices or trains with. [Mid-1900s] Also see spar with.
See also: partner, spar

spar with

Argue or debate with, as in You'd never know they were happily married, because they're constantly sparring with each other . [Early 1600s]
See also: spar
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a sparring partner

Someone's sparring partner is someone they enjoy arguing with or discussing things with. My old sparring partner Chris Moyles has got the Radio 1 breakfast show in place of Sara Cox. Note: This expressing comes from boxing, where a sparring partner was someone to practise with.
See also: partner, spar
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Marang Spar's customer care official, Gotewang Kemisetso said the annual tournament was an answer to the plight of many downtrodden members of the community, and was happy that the John Phoko Primary School pupil had been identified as a beneficiary of all the proceeds accrued from the tournament until 2021.
Comprehending the benefits of consuming natural and organic foods, Spar Oman has added products in multiple categories which include gluten free, organic, vegan, wheat free, vegetarian, dairy free, lactose free and sugar free.
SPAR's managing director Tobias Wasmuht said that the deal will allow independent retailers on the island "to respond to growing market concentration in Cyprus of national and international chains while meeting the needs of both local and international tourist shoppers".
SPAR business model of 'voluntary trading' brings advantages for retailers, wholesalers and suppliers with lower costs of purchasing goods, instore operation expertise, design and back-end management, enabling more efficient distribution, effective marketing and the sharing of best practices and resources to offer customers modern stores, excellent value, range and service.
It is greatly encouraging to see a company like SPAR, which started as a partnership of Dutch retailers and wholesalers more than 80 years ago, now active in India as well as 40 other countries around the world."
Pacquiao also went at it against other spar mates Viktor Postol of Russia and Jose Ramirez of Mexico.
Spar, the world's largest food retailer, unveiled the Spar Express convenience store at Village 1 in Neighbourhood 2 of the Al Falah City in Abu Dhabi.
Khimji Ramdas will add SPAR to its portfolio of the world's leading brands.
LEOMINSTER -- Geoffrey Spar's twinkling blue eyes and dimples are what first attracted Alison Spar, but as she says, "It's what you have on the inside that counts.
Serbian food products meet the quality standards and criteria of the market chain Spar. Due to this they could become recognizable in the demanding market of Russia, said Alexei Pavlov, a representative of the management of this company.
SPAR UK is relaunching its own label fresh chicken range in a move to highlight its quality-assured standard and increase distribution in the growing fresh category in convenience.
WIN a case of SPAR's new Perlezza Prosecco Brut worth over PS100 by 8pm tonight.
17 October 2012 - Danish lender Spar Nord Bank A/S (CPH:SPNO) said today that it had received approval from the Danish competition and consumer authority for its planned merger with domestic peer Sparbank A/S (CPH:SPB).
The Spar Group Limited, an active Team Namibia member, is the latest retailer promoting the buy-local concept.
BANKING AND CREDIT NEWS-February 8, 2012--Danish Spar Nord Bank plans EUR114m share issue(C)2012 M2 COMMUNICATIONS