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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

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Eight-year-old Kiera McDonald gained a double success in the green belt girls division, winning gold in sparring and silver in patterns.
The final gold went to Lucy Priestly for sparring and she also secured a bronze medal for patterns (junior black belt).
Chloe Tolderlund, of Sterling, first place, girls 7-9 Novice Kata, second place, girls 7-9 Novice Sparring.
Callum Gough, 11, added to the junior medal haul winning silver for Boys Red Belt Patterns, while Leigh Yoxall, 16, achieved a rare gold double for team sparring and bronze for individual sparring in the Yellow & Green Belt division.
Harry Randle, aged seven, bronze in boys' between 25 to 29kgs Qingda sparring.
In the blue belt divisions, Olivia Connolly-Dixon and Matthew Zhu gave great performances in the patterns and sparring events, each winning two silver medals.
Instructor Richard Morgan, 2nd Dan, of Penywaun, gold in weapons, silver in sparring and member of the UK forms team that took second place.
Everyone fought well to bring an impressive haul of 13 trophies back to Liverpool - including two gold, five silver and eight bronze," said Stef, who herself took silver in Ladies Red Belt Middleweight Sparring.
15-year-old Mike McCaw made his mark in the heavyweight boys sparring category, beating all opponents to take the gold medal.
The day started well for the team, with eight year old Philip Zhu securing gold in the boys blue belt patterns event, as well as bronze in boys blue belt sparring.
Louis O'Gara came second in both the Under 16 points sparring and continuous sparring while Robert Gledhill took silver in the Over 85 kilo sparring and bronze in the continuous sparring.
Held in Cheltenham, competitors were able to enter several events, including patterns (to assess technical ability); point-stop sparring, a bout favouring the fighter who scores first; and continuous sparring, favouring the fighter scoring the most points in a non-stop bout.
Crosland Moor members Toni Singh, Trishala Thapa and Jugal Thapa and instructor Andrew Chambers won gold in sparring in their classes, while silvers for patterns went to Singh, Trishala and Mani Thapa and Clare Simpson, who also took silver for sparring along with Harishta Kaur.
Eight-year-old Lauren Butler grabbed a double gold in the individual and team sparring.
The club's students performed well in both patterns and sparring events, bringing two golds, four silvers and four bronzes home.