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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
sparring partner
▪ Foreman was cut over his right eye while sparring.
▪ The two have sparred for months over the health bill.
▪ Before Alan, it was just the two of them sparring over terms, a competition between two fiercely competitive players.
▪ Bill MacCallum and Shelton have sparred with Hilderbrand for years.
▪ He has already sparred with Michael Bates on virtually all topics.
▪ Right away they were sparring, wary of each other.
▪ A fractional rig is set on a Proctor spar with swept-back spreaders.
▪ An old white gate with no middle spar, Rusty bikes and the door of a car.
▪ Patiently Loi and Mark set about constructing another spar.
▪ Strangely, one of the spars from the bed's headboard seemed to be missing.
▪ The scaffolding, explains Miss Edwards in her book, was improvised from spars and oars.
▪ Then a submersible pump, concealed in a sump, conveys it back up to a blockwork filter filled with Canterbury spar.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

spar \spar\ (sp[aum]r), n. [AS. sp[ae]r in sp[ae]rst[=a]n chalkstone; akin to MHG. spar, G. sparkalk plaster.] (Min.) An old name for a nonmetallic mineral, usually cleavable and somewhat lustrous; as, calc spar, or calcite, fluor spar, etc. It was especially used in the case of the gangue minerals of a metalliferous vein.

Blue spar, Cube spar, etc. See under Blue, Cube, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 14c., "rafter;" late 14c., "stout pole," from or cognate with Middle Low German or Middle Dutch sparre, from Proto-Germanic *sparron (cognates: Old English *spere "spear, lance," Old Norse sperra "rafter, beam," German Sparren "spar, rafter"), from PIE root *sper- (1) "spear, pole" (see spear (n.1)). Nautical use, in reference to one used as a mast, yard, boom, etc., dates from 1630s. Also borrowed in Old French as esparre, which might be the direct source of the English word.


late 14c., "go quickly, rush, dart, spring;" c.1400, "to strike or thrust," perhaps from Middle French esparer "to kick" (Modern French éparer), from Italian sparare "to fling," from Latin ex- (see ex-) + parare "make ready, prepare," hence "ward off, parry" (see pare). Etymologists consider a connection with spur unlikely. Used in 17c. in reference to preliminary actions in a cock fight; figurative sense of "to dispute, bandy with words" is from 1690s. Extension to humans, in a literal sense, with meaning "to engage in or practice boxing" is attested from 1755. Related: Sparred; sparring.


"crystalline mineral that breaks easily into fragments with smooth surfaces," 1580s, from Low German Spar, from Middle Low German *spar, *sper, cognate with Old English spær- in spærstan "gypsum."


Etymology 1 n. 1 A rafter of a roof. 2 A thick pole or piece of wood. 3 (context obsolete English) A bar of wood used to fasten a door. 4 (context nautical English) A general term denoting any linear object used as a mast, sprit, yard, boom, pole or gaff. 5 (context aeronautics English) A beam-like structural member that supports ribs in an aircraft wing or other airfoil. vb. 1 (context obsolete or dialectal English) to bolt, bar. 2 (context transitive English) To supply or equip (a vessel) with spars. Etymology 2

vb. To fight, especially as practice for martial arts or hand-to-hand combat. Etymology 3

n. 1 (context mineralogy English) any of various microcrystalline minerals, of light, translucent, or transparent blee, which are easily cleft 2 (context mineralogy English) any crystal with no readily discernible faces.

  1. n. any of various nonmetallic minerals (calcite or feldspar) that are light in color and transparent or translucent and cleavable

  2. a stout rounded pole of wood or metal used to support rigging

  3. making the motions of attack and defense with the fists and arms; a part of training for a boxer [syn: sparring]

  4. [also: sparring, sparred]

  1. v. furnish with spars

  2. fight with spurs; "the gamecocks were sparring"

  3. box lightly

  4. fight verbally; "They were sparring all night"

  5. [also: sparring, sparred]

Spar (retailer)

Spar , trademarked as SPAR, is a Dutch multinational retail chain and franchise with approximately 12,500 stores in 35 countries worldwide. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1932 by retailer Adriaan van Well. Through its affiliate organisations, Spar operates through most European countries, parts of Africa, Asia and Oceania. Its headquarters are in Amsterdam.


Spar or Spars may refer to:

Spar (short story)

"Spar" is a science fiction short story by Kij Johnson first published in Clarkesworld Magazine, winning the 2009 Nebula Award for short story, and short-listed for the 2010 Hugo Awards.

Spar (sailing)

A spar is a pole of wood, metal or lightweight materials such as carbon fibre used in the rigging of a sailing vessel to carry or support its sail. These include booms and masts, which serve both to deploy sail and resist compressive and bending forces, as well as the bowsprit and spinnaker pole.

In the Age of sail large ships often carried many extra spars of all types for repairs underway, giving rise to the spar deck of a frigate where they were stored.

Category:Sailing rigs and rigging

Spar (mineralogy)

Spar is an old mining or mineralogy term used to refer to crystals that have readily discernible faces. A spar will easily break or cleave into rhomboidal, cubical, or laminated fragments with smooth shiny surfaces.

The various spar minerals were a historical term among miners and alchemists for any nonmetallic mineral akin to gypsum, known in Old English as spærstān, spear stone, referring to its crystalline projections. Thus, the word spar in mineralogy has the same root as "spear," by way of comparison to gypsum, as a common natural crystal forming in spearlike projections.

Amongst miners the term "spar" today is frequently used alone to express any bright crystalline substance. Most frequently, spar describes easily cleaved, lightly colored nonmetallic minerals such as feldspar, calcite or baryte. Baryte ( Ba S O), the main source of barium, is also called "heavy spar" ( Greek "barys" means "heavy"). Calcite often forms the dogtooth spar crystals found in vugs and caves.

Spar (aeronautics)

In a fixed-wing aircraft, the spar is often the main structural member of the wing, running spanwise at right angles (or thereabouts depending on wing sweep) to the fuselage. The spar carries flight loads and the weight of the wings while on the ground. Other structural and forming members such as ribs may be attached to the spar or spars, with stressed skin construction also sharing the loads where it is used. There may be more than one spar in a wing or none at all. However, where a single spar carries the majority of the forces on it, it is known as the main spar.

Spars are also used in other aircraft aerofoil surfaces such as the tailplane and fin and serve a similar function, although the loads transmitted may be different from those of a wing spar.

Spar (tree)

A spar tree is the tree used as the highest anchor point in a high lead cable logging setup. The spar tree was selected based on height, location and especially strength and lack of rot in order to withstand the weight and pressure required. Once a spar tree was selected a climber would remove the tree's limbs and top the tree (a logging term for cutting off the top of the tree). Block and tackle was affixed to the tree and the cabling was run.

A "high climber" was the member of the logging crew who scaled the tree, limbed it, and topped it.

Selecting a tree as a spar is a particularly important task, so the strength and importance of the spar came to hold symbolic meaning for early loggers of the West.

The use of spar trees in logging is now rare, having been replaced since the 1970s by portable towers, called Yarders, which can be erected on logging sites and moved as needed.

Spar (platform)

A spar is a type of floating oil platform typically used in very deep waters, and is named for logs used as buoys in shipping that are moored in place vertically. Spar production platforms have been developed as an alternative to conventional platforms. The deep draft design of spars makes them less affected by wind, wave and currents and allows for both dry tree and subsea production. Spars are most prevalent in the US Gulf of Mexico; however, there are also spars located offshore Malaysia and Norway.

A spar platform consists of a large-diameter, single vertical cylinder supporting a deck. The cylinder is weighted at the bottom by a chamber filled with a material that is more dense than water to lower the center of gravity of the platform and provide stability. Additionally, the spar hull is encircled by helical strakes to mitigate the effects of vortex-induced motion. Spars are permanently anchored to the seabed by way of a spread mooring system composed of either a chain-wire-chain or chain-polyester-chain configuration.

There are three primary types of spars; the classic spar, truss spar, and cell spar. The classic spar consists of the cylindrical hull noted above, with heavy ballast tanks located at the bottom of the cylinder.

A truss spar has a shorter cylindrical "hard tank" than a classic spar and has a truss structure connected to the bottom of the hard tank. This truss structure consists of four large orthogonal "leg" members with X-braces between each of the legs and heave plates at intermediate depths to provide damping. At the bottom of the truss structure, there is a relatively small keel, or soft tank, that houses the heavy ballasting material. Soft tanks are typically rectangular in shape but have also been round to accommodate specific construction concerns. The majority of spars are of this type.

A third type of spar, the cell spar, has a large central cylinder surrounded by smaller cylinders of alternating lengths. At the bottom of the longer cylinders is the soft tank housing the heavy ballasting material, similar to a truss spar. The cell spar design was only ever used for one platform, the Red Hawk spar, which was decommissioned in 2014 under the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's " Rigs-to-Reefs" program. At the time of its decommissioning it was the deepest floating platform to ever be decommissioned.

The Brent Spar, a platform designed for storage and offloading of crude oil products, was installed in the Brent Field in June 1976. The attempted deep sea disposal of the platform in the 1990s created a huge backlash by Greenpeace. The Spar was eventually dismantled and pieces were used as a foundation for a quay in Norway.

The first spar designed for oil and gas production was the Neptune spar, located in the Gulf of Mexico and was installed in September 1996 by Kerr McGee (now Anadarko).

The world's deepest production platform is Perdido, a truss spar in the Gulf of Mexico, with a mean water depth of 2,438 meters. It is operated by Royal Dutch Shell and was built at a cost of $3 billion.

Usage examples of "spar".

Some hours after midnight, the Typhoon abated so much, that through the strenuous exertions of Starbuck and Stubb-- one engaged forward and the other aft--the shivered remnants of the jib and fore and main-top-sails were cut adrift from the spars, and went eddying away to leeward, like the feathers of an albatross, which sometimes are cast to the winds when that storm-tossed bird is on the wing.

Machen arrived, because his cell was detached from its position at a bay on the farthest spar of Idlewild and towed around the side of the station by Arachno service personnel, at the ends of their long lines.

Art blurted out his doings, his thoughts, in a completely honest, ingenuous manner that irritated those social groups who prefer conversational sparring and the artfully phoney commercial facades.

He could perform his morning exercises sparring at swords with Aumery, but his balance was uncertain.

Captain Pullings, and the shrill gun went off: its smoke had barely swept astern before the starboard target appeared, three masses of casks and worn-out sailcloth flying on upright spars, each representing the forecastle, waist and quarterdeck of a ship of the line, the whole towed on a long cablet by the boats of the squadron.

Enough wreckage had washed ashore so a rude lean-to had been fashioned from sails and broken spars, but the wood that had drifted ashore from the ship was too wet to do more than smolder on the fire.

Some were sweating in fearnought suits, some dragged hoses, others lumped big wooden spars and wedges.

Battling Dago Pete landed a few more before the fight was over, but as any old fighter will tell you there is nothing more discouraging than to discover that your most effective blows do not feeze your opponent, and only the knowledge of what a defeat at the hands of a new sparring partner would mean to his future, kept him plugging away at the hopeless task of attempting to knock out this mountain of bone and muscle.

The scant regulars who still patronized the Broken Spar looked up from their drinks in a pickled haze, the silent misery on their faces yielding to fear as Gell MarBoreth, Knight of the Lily, swaggered in.

The crowd parted a bit more speedily than usual when Gell strode into the Broken Spar that evening.

While he was down below, Ready had cast off the lashings of the two spars which had formed the sheers, and dragging them forward, had launched them over the gunnel, with lines fast to them, ready for towing on shore.

Herbloc for it, but after a time Gunsel began to enjoy sparring with the scientist.

For two hours, Cyrus Harding and his companions were solely occupied in hauling up the spars on to the sand, and then in spreading the sails which were perfectly uninjured, to dry.

Piaro, two more heets who practiced the Disciplines wanted to spar with him, Brill wanted to play chess, and Pabrino wanted to play Maniples, although they would have to carefully work out when the possible time was since a Maniples match was more in-teresting and challenging if it was continuous, playing one took a double shift, and double shifts off were rare.

In these wild regions there are no kago or norimons to be had, and a pack-horse is the only conveyance, and yesterday, having abandoned my own saddle, I had the bad luck to get a pack-saddle with specially angular and uncompromising peaks, with a soaked and extremely unwashed futon on the top, spars, tackle, ridges, and furrows of the most exasperating description, and two nooses of rope to hold on by as the animal slid down hill on his haunches, or let me almost slide over his tail as he scrambled and plunged up hill.