economical (often followed by in or of ).
lenient or merciful.
scanty; limited.

1325–75; Middle English; see spare, -ing2

sparingly, adverb
sparingness, noun
nonsparing, adjective
oversparing, adjective
oversparingly, adverb
oversparingness, noun

1. frugal, saving, penurious. 3. meager, sparse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sparing (ˈspɛərɪŋ)
adj (sometimes foll by with or of)
1.  economical or frugal (with)
2.  scanty; meagre
3.  merciful or lenient

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. sparian "to refrain from harming, to allow to go free," from the source of O.E. spær "sparing, frugal," from P.Gmc. *sparaz (cf. O.Fris. sparia, O.N. spara, O.H.G. sparon "to spare"). Meaning "to dispense from one's own stock" is recorded from early 13c. The adj. meaning "additional, extra"
is attested from c.1300. In ref. to time, from 1610; sense of "flimsy, thin" is recorded from 1540s. Spare part is attested from 1888. The noun meaning "extra thing or part" is from 1640s. Bowling sense of "a knocking down of all pins in two bowls" is attested from 1849, Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
No school can function without such authority, though all should use it
Genes for resistance thus spread through the population unless such drugs are
  used carefully and sparingly.
Accents used sparingly make for an uncluttered feel.
But the military has only used the stun guns sparingly in the field.
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