Adjective "sparse" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Thinly dispersed or scattered.
  1. 'Large families and the practice of partible inheritance strained lands that under the best circumstances could only sustain sparse populations.'
  2. 'The homogenous and sparse population was replaced by the restless diversity, sprawl and cacophony of one of the fastest growing places in America.'
  3. 'The houses were big and the population sparse because they were so spread-out.'
  4. 'For the earliest inhabitants of Southern France, practising a hunter-gatherer way of life, the natural resources were abundant and more than adequate for a sparse population.'
  5. 'The French population of this vast region was sparse, however, reaching only 85,000 in the 1760s.'
  6. 'There are very few actors who could carry off this film, with its sparse dialogue and total absence of voiceover.'
  7. 'Harmony Hills had a very sparse population; there were only a few thousand people in our community.'
  8. 'There is nothing but dead rocks, a few sparse patches of grass, and an occasional pair of odd looking trees.'
  9. 'Costumes were sparse, with the only indicator of femininity for Helena and Hermia an occasional handbag.'
  10. 'I only use an eyebrow pencil to fill in my sparse eyebrows.'
  11. 'information on earnings is sparse'
  12. 'William Shakespeare's life is somewhat of a mystery to scholars due to the fact that most information that is known is very scattered and sparse.'


1. thinly scattered or distributed: a sparse population.

2. not thick or dense; thin: sparse hair.

3. scanty; meager.

More examples(as adjective)

"volunteers can be sparse on dates."

"protests can be sparse on visits."

"events can be sparse in/at/on weeks."

"events can be sparse with buyers."

"volumes can be sparse in comings."

More examples++


Early 18th century (used to describe writing in the sense ‘widely spaced’): from Latin sparsus, past participle of spargere ‘scatter’.