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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Local reports from Bavaria, however, especially from rural areas, mentioned very sparse flagging.
▪ Driven out from richer regions, all they now had were these vast but very sparse pastures.
▪ After this, evidence about Anne Batten Cristall's life is very sparse.
▪ Scholarly comment on this passage is very sparse.
▪ But with their sparse population they are scarcely worth the price of a campaign advertisement.
▪ Its still sparse population seems shrunk, as it were, in such outsize garments.
▪ Background: Montana, our fourth largest state but with a sparse population, is home to large herds of elk.
sparse traffic
▪ He combed back his sparse hair.
▪ Information on the disease is sparse.
▪ Trees are sparse in this part of the world because of the continuous wind that blows across the plains.
▪ Agriculture in the south will suffer as underground water is exhausted and already sparse summer rain disappears.
▪ Details of Dixon's life are sparse and sometimes contradictory.
▪ Driven out from richer regions, all they now had were these vast but very sparse pastures.
▪ From our sparse apartment, a daily warmth could be made to exist.
▪ However, sunshine was a sparse commodity and we found the short, dark winter days of these latitudes very depressing at first.
▪ Reading from an empty area of a sparse file will return garbage.
▪ They can, therefore, exist quite happily in areas of sparse vegetation.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Sparse \Sparse\, v. t. [L. sparsus, p. p. of spargere to scatter.] To scatter; to disperse. [Obs.]


Sparse \Sparse\, a. [Compar. Sparser; superl. Sparsest.] [L. sparsus, p. p. of spargere to strew, scatter. Cf. Asperse, Disperse.]

  1. Thinly scattered; set or planted here and there; not being dense or close together; as, a sparse population.

  2. (Bot.) Placed irregularly and distantly; scattered; -- applied to branches, leaves, peduncles, and the like.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1727, from Latin sparsus "scattered," past participle of spargere "to scatter, spread," from PIE root *(s)preg- (2) "to jerk, scatter" (cognates: Sanskrit parjanya- "rain, rain god," Avestan fra-sparega "branch, twig," literally "that which is jerked off a tree," Old Norse freknur "freckles," Swedish dialectal sprygg "brisk, active," Lithuanian sprogti "shoot, bud," Old Irish arg "a drop"). The word is found earlier in English as a verb, "to scatter abroad" (16c.). Related: Sparsely; sparseness.

  1. 1 Having widely spaced intervals. 2 Not dense; meager. v

  2. (context obsolete English) To scatter; to disperse.


adj. not dense; "a thin beard"; "trees were sparse" [syn: thin]


Sparse is a computer software tool designed to find possible coding faults in the Linux kernel. Unlike other such tools, this static analysis tool was initially designed to only flag constructs that were likely to be of interest to kernel developers, such as the mixing of pointers to user and kernel address spaces.

Sparse checks for known problems and allows the developer to include annotations in the code that convey information about data types, such as the address space that pointers point to and the locks that a function acquires or releases.

Linus Torvalds started writing Sparse in 2003. Josh Triplett was its maintainer from 2006, a role taken over by Christopher Li in 2009. Sparse is released under the MIT License.

Sparse (disambiguation)

Sparse may refer to:

  • Sparse, a software static analysis tool
  • Sparse language, a type of formal language in computational complexity theory
  • Sparse matrix, in numerical analysis, a matrix populated primarily with zeros
  • Sparse file, a computer file mostly empty

Usage examples of "sparse".

Culture had been on the far side of the galaxy from the Affront home planet, and contacts between the Culture and the Affront had been unusually sparse for a long time for a variety of frankly banal reasons.

His olive skin was set off by sparse gray-white hair, which he wore longish, so that it fell over his collar in back.

With free-roaming animals in a natural setting there is no danger of overgrazing because when the vegetation is sparse in one area they simply move to another.

This view received confirmation when young Mr Perse came in front to receive the Mayoress who, he informed the sparse and indifferent audience, had kindly consented to be present.

He was half way between Cape Town, where he had left Mr Farquhar, and False Bay, sitting in a sparse grove of proteas in a dust-storm, clasping a loose portfolio of plants to be dried for his herbal, and dividing what attention he had left between a small flock of crested mouse-birds and a troop of baboons.

Beyond, a slope supporting a sparse growth of brown scutch and wire-weed descended to the lip of a great gorge.

He pondered the sluggish swirl of the deep mists that screened the sunshine and shrouded the mountains, the thinning groves of Bonnie Blues dotted with wilt and spotting, the lakes and rivers turned gray and clouded, and the meadows and grasslands grown sparse and wintry.

Her strong, black brows grew straight and thick in an unbroken line above her eyes, her upper lip was dark with a sparse but unmistakable moustache of a few black hairs, her face, at once cold and hard in its mistrust, and smouldering with a dark and sinister desire, was stamped with that strange fellowship of avarice and passion he had seen in the faces of women such as this all over France.

Big scrofulous leaves, blue-black and stemless, pocked with ugly blister-shaped air bladders, sprout directly from the wood at sparse intervals.

But the stolid tree--a bloodwood, all bone, toughened by death, a few ruby crystals in sparse antra all that remained significant of past life--afforded but meagre hospitality to the, soft lead.

A chest which needed no swelling to begin with, as muscular as it so obviously was under the flashy but sparse Axumite regalia.

A double handful of geese waddled about, beadily eyeing the ground but not finding anything worth pecking, and someone had tethered a milkcow to crop the sparse growth.

A double handful of geese waddled about, beadily eyeing the ground but not finding anything worth pecking, and someone had tethered a milk cow to crop the sparse growth.

Slogging along over rocky hills and sparse bunchgrass, she managed to dodge yellow flowering sagebrush and still search the cloud formations overhead for kittens and ghosts.

The nurse wheeled and undulated toward the airlock, its fur rising and falling in slow waves which ran from the sparse hair at its neck to the bushier growth on the tail.