If you spar with someone, you exchange light blows — either literally by punching each other, or figuratively by exchanging verbal blows.

If you box, you might spar with an opponent at the gym while you're training. You don't strike too hard — it’s just practice. Similarly, if you spar with words, you typically do it playfully and without anger. You might repeatedly spar with your mom about who makes the best meatloaf, but it’s all in good fun. Spar is also the name of a rigging pole, as well as of some light minerals like calcite, that you can cut through.

Definitions of spar
  1. noun
    a stout rounded pole of wood or metal used to support rigging
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    any of various more-or-less horizontal spars or poles used to extend the foot of a sail or for handling cargo or in mooring
    a spar projecting from the bow of a vessel
    dolphin striker, martingale
    spar under the bowsprit of a sailboat
    a spar rising aft from a mast to support the head of a quadrilateral fore-and-aft sail
    a spar that extends the bowsprit
    a vertical spar for supporting sails
    a light spar that crosses a fore-and-aft sail diagonally
    a long horizontal spar tapered at the end and used to support and spread a square sail or lateen
    the mast nearest the bow in vessels with two or more masts
    jigger, jiggermast
    any small mast on a sailing vessel; especially the mizzenmast of a yawl
    jury mast
    a temporary mast to replace one that has broken off
    the chief mast of a sailing vessel with two or more masts
    main yard
    yard for a square mainsail
    mizen, mizenmast, mizzen, mizzenmast
    third mast from the bow in a vessel having three or more masts; the after and shorter mast of a yawl, ketch, or dandy
    the mast next above a lower mast and topmost in a fore-and-aft rig
    type of:
    a long (usually round) rod of wood or metal or plastic
  2. verb
    furnish with spars
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    type of:
    equip, fit, fit out, outfit
    provide with (something) usually for a specific purpose
  3. noun
    making the motions of attack and defense with the fists and arms; a part of training for a boxer
    synonyms: sparring
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    type of:
    boxing, fisticuffs, pugilism
    fighting with the fists
  4. verb
    box lightly
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    type of:
    engage in a boxing match
  5. verb
    fight with spurs
    “the gamecocks were sparring
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    type of:
    contend, fight, struggle
    be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight
  6. verb
    fight verbally
    “They were sparring all night”
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    type of:
    argue, contend, debate, fence
    have an argument about something
  7. noun
    any of various nonmetallic minerals (calcite or feldspar) that are light in color and transparent or translucent and cleavable
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    feldspar, felspar
    any of a group of hard crystalline minerals that consist of aluminum silicates of potassium or sodium or calcium or barium
    a common mineral consisting of crystallized calcium carbonate; a major constituent of limestone
    Mexican onyx, alabaster, onyx marble, oriental alabaster
    a hard compact kind of calcite
    a soft whitish calcite
    a white or colored monoclinic feldspar
    oligoclase, plagioclase
    any of a series of triclinic feldspars that form rocks
    Iceland spar
    a transparent calcite found in Iceland and used in polarizing microscopes
    a transparent or translucent gemstone with a pearly luster; some specimens are orthoclase feldspar and others are plagioclase feldspar
    type of:
    solid homogeneous inorganic substances occurring in nature having a definite chemical composition
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