spruce

verb
\ˈsprüs \
spruced; sprucing

Definition of spruce 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make spruce often used with up

intransitive verb

: to make oneself spruce spruce up a bit

spruce

adjective
sprucer; sprucest

Definition of spruce (Entry 2 of 3)

: neat or smart in appearance : trim

spruce

noun
plural spruces also spruce

Definition of spruce (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : any of a genus (Picea) of evergreen trees of the pine family with a conical head of dense foliage, flat or 4-sided needles, pendulous cones, and soft light wood

b : any of several coniferous trees (such as Douglas fir) of similar habit

2 : the wood of a spruce

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Other Words from spruce

Adjective

sprucely adverb
spruceness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for spruce

Synonyms: Adjective

dapper, natty, sharp, smart, snappy

Antonyms: Adjective

disheveled (or dishevelled), frowsy (or frowzy), sloppy, slovenly, unkempt

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Examples of spruce in a Sentence

Adjective

He looked very spruce in his new suit. a slim, spruce man in a tailor-made business suit

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This plan involved requiring existing teachers to reapply for their jobs, sprucing up their buildings, offering foreign-language and art classes, and requiring kids to wear uniforms. Daniel Duane, WIRED, "How the Startup Mentality Failed Kids in San Francisco," 28 June 2018 In the living room, the celebrity decorator — who has a pretty impressive home in NYC himself — installed dark wood floors and spruced up the walls with molding and casings that pay homage to the 1924 building’s history. Megan Stein, PEOPLE.com, "Gilmore Girls' Lauren Graham Sells New York City Apartment for $825K: See Inside," 18 May 2018 The university repainted the walls, added new carpeting, spruced up the landscaping and put it on the market this spring for $2.8 million. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "These donors love their alma maters so much they gave them the roofs over their heads," 13 July 2018 In addition, Roberson Building Company, one of the city’s largest developers, has purchased four other buildings with plans to buy more to spruce up and maybe rent out. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "As Tacoma’s Hilltop changes, residents are priced out," 11 May 2018 Chief Stations Officer Rachelle Glazier, who oversees all 472 train stops for New York City Transit, says Columbus Circle employs three cleaners each shift; every area gets spruced up at least every eight hours. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "This New York City Subway Station Gets Rave Reviews," 1 May 2018 The trees surrounding the Kanuti clearing are typical of the boreal forest, but Pilgrim Springs on the Seward Peninsula is home to spruce and pine trees, probably planted by someone during that place's long occupation. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Finding a steaming oasis, isolated and remote: A look at Alaska’s hot springs," 14 Apr. 2018 New Britain’s Walnut Hill rose garden is asking for volunteers to spruce up the grounds and plant new rose bushes. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Ahead of Earth Day, Central Connecticut Groups Offer Volunteer Park, Trail Cleanups," 13 Apr. 2018 If your backyard is in a sad state after a rough winter, Home Depot is selling a bunch of patio furniture to help spruce things up. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Today's Best Deals: Save $300 on a Macbook," 10 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The site comprises deserts, riparian forests and floodplains of the Ili River, deciduous and spruce forests as well as salt marshes. National Geographic, "UN Announces 23 New Nature Reserves While U.S. Removes 17," 14 June 2017 The site comprises deserts, riparian forests and floodplains of the Ili River, deciduous and spruce forests as well as salt marshes. Alex Treadway, National Geographic, "UN Announces 23 New Nature Reserves While U.S. Removes 17," 14 June 2017 At this point, there’s nothing stopping the spruce beetle. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Spruce beetles pick up where their pine cousins left off, eating through 136K acres in past year," 25 Jan. 2017 A spruce hen aggressively defended her chicks from competitors. Alaska Dispatch News, "Spruce hen not enough to slow Smith, Jolliff down for orienteering victories," 30 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To better study the snails’ evolutionary trajectory, Seeley traveled to Maine’s Cobscook Bay, a wonderland of sheer cliffs and scrubby spruce just kilometers from the Canadian border. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian, "How Seaweed Connects Us All," 31 May 2018 Dwarf Alberta spruce is a landscaping favorite, growing up to ten feet high. New York Times, "Every Cell in Your Body Has the Same DNA. Except It Doesn’t.," 21 May 2018 Those that mulch over leaves instead of picking them up are ahead of the game, and feeding a large spruce really is a game. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Spruce bark beetles are back with a vengeance. Here’s how to defend your trees.," 19 Apr. 2018 The goal of the spruce-up work is to protect what's left of the station for the day when redevelopment is possible. Dan Austin And Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Archive: Once crown jewel, Detroit train station now symbol of ruin," 11 June 2018 Vibrant shades of green, tan and pink spruce up the façade before opening to a two-story interior with Old World charm. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "Screenwriters Roger Simon and Sheryl Longin redraft their asking price in Hollywood Hills," 19 June 2018 The company's Juneau brewery offered a flight of more obscure flavors, including an especially tasty one brewed with local spruce tips. Anchorage Daily News, "A DIY trip through Alaska’s Inside Passage," 26 May 2018 Their Juneau brewery offered a flight of more obscure flavors, including an especially tasty one brewed with local spruce tips. Mark Adams, New York Times, "A D.I.Y. Trip Through Alaska’s Inside Passage," 21 May 2018 If that chick is a male, (females often leave the area), the owl will probably haunt these same spruce on the darkest days of December. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "During long summer days in Alaska, Boreal owls perform by daylight," 30 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spruce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spruce

Verb

1594, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Adjective

1599, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1670, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spruce

Adjective

perhaps from obsolete English Spruce leather leather imported from Prussia

Noun

obsolete Spruce Prussia, from Middle English, alteration of Pruce, from Anglo-French

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Phrases Related to spruce

spruce up

Statistics for spruce

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spruce

The first known use of spruce was in 1594

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More Definitions for spruce

spruce

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of spruce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: neat, clean, or stylish in appearance

spruce

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spruce (Entry 2 of 2)

: a type of tree that has long, thin needles instead of leaves and that stays green throughout the year

: the wood of a spruce tree

spruce

noun
\ˈsprüs \

Kids Definition of spruce

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: an evergreen tree that has short needles for leaves, drooping cones, and light soft wood

spruce

verb
spruced; sprucing

Kids Definition of spruce (Entry 2 of 3)

: to make (someone or something) neat or stylish in appearance Fresh paint spruced up the room. Let me spruce up before we go.

spruce

adjective
sprucer; sprucest

Kids Definition of spruce (Entry 3 of 3)

: neat or stylish in appearance

Other Words from spruce

sprucely adverb

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Comments on spruce

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