spruce

verb
\ ˈsprüs How to pronounce spruce (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from spruce

Adjective

sprucely adverb
spruceness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for spruce

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 While far from luxury, even HI is sprucing up its properties and adding high-tech features like charging ports in lockers and shower heads that change color to encourage guests to save water. Washington Post, "Increasingly upscale hostels shed their grungy image," 21 Nov. 2019 His specialty was finding older, established hotels that were in need of sprucing up. oregonlive, "Gordon Sondland’s biggest deal lands him at center of Ukraine scandal. Is all he’s worked for at risk?," 17 Oct. 2019 These trends are happening while discounters like Target have spruced up their fashion assortments, stealing away customers. Time, "Forever 21 Fashion Chain Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy," 30 Sep. 2019 These trends are happening while discounters like Target have spruced up their fashion assortments, stealing away customers. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Forever 21 fashion chain files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy," 29 Sep. 2019 At home, the discounters hope to lure discerning shoppers by sprucing up their stores. The Economist, "Aldi and Lidl are doing less well at home," 25 July 2019 Following the vote, council approved a resolution that will allocate nearly $800,000 in bond funds toward sprucing up the park with tables, chairs and planter boxes. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit City Council votes to keep Spirit of Detroit Plaza downtown," 23 July 2019 With this beauty trend comes the desire for many to spruce up their brows into the fullest, boldest arches—and that’s where eyebrow growth serums come into the picture. Chelsey Hamilton, Health.com, "The Best Eyebrow Growth Serums for Fuller, Bolder Arches, According to Dermatologists," 16 Oct. 2019 The city has invested millions to spruce up La Mesa Village, including the $6 million Downtown Streetscape project. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Help on the way for western La Mesa," 14 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Enthusiasm, thoughtful analysis and humor were part of her teaching style: plasticity of the upper body, spruce footwork and imaginative theatricality were her objectives. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Julia Farron, Acclaimed Ballerina From Age 14, Is Dead at 96," 24 July 2019 While spruce pollen is irritating to local residents, the massive pollen release could be a boon to the region’s forests, which have been decimated in recent years by beetle and aphid infestations brought on by rising temperatures. The Economist, "Alaska’s changing climate," 4 July 2019 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 In this 2009 photo, dead spruces of the Yukon's Alsek River valley attest to the devastation wrought by the beetles. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Vanishing ice puts Mongolia's reindeer herders at risk," 20 Nov. 2019 There are a lot of pros to trading in your usual real Christmas tree in favor of a faux spruce or pine. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Here's How to Buy a Fake Christmas Tree That Actually Looks Real," 10 Oct. 2019 Rockefeller Center revealed their selection to the public via Instagram, sharing a photo of the winning spruce. Hannah Chubb, PEOPLE.com, "This Year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Has Officially Been Chosen — Get a First Look!," 22 Oct. 2019 One possible culprit is a common disease called needle cast on spruce trees. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "White pines drop their needles fast this time of year — that’s normal," 19 Oct. 2019 Maple, black walnut, ash, cottonwood, spruce, cedar and white pine trees dot the property. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "Land in Bayport to become city park and be ‘set aside forever’," 12 Oct. 2019 About 50 million spruce trees are believed to have perished, with extensive damage to larch, oak, beech and pine varieties, according to Gert-Jan Nabuurs, forestry expert at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Helene Fouquet And William Wilkes / Bloomberg, Time, "Climate Change Is Devastating the Lush Gardens of Versailles," 21 Sep. 2019 Gin makers are especially savvy about leaning on local: Germany’s Woodland Sauerland Gin features locally sourced spruce and dandelion root while Method and Madness Irish Gin incorporates local Irish gorse flower. John Kell, Fortune, "Craft Breweries Are Going Hyper-Local to Source Ingredients," 21 Sep. 2019 In southeast Alaska, the normally lush forests are falling prey to spruce bark beetles and hemlock sawflys, which are taking advantage of a lack of rainfall and higher than average temperatures. Matthew Cappucci And Andrew Freedman, chicagotribune.com, "More freak weather comes to Alaska, which has had an unprecedented summer," 19 Aug. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of spruce

Verb

1594, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Adjective

1598, in the meaning defined above

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about spruce

Time Traveler for spruce

Time Traveler

The first known use of spruce was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for spruce

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Spruce.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spruce. Accessed 10 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for spruce

spruce

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of spruce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

somewhat old-fashioned : 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 How to pronounce spruce (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on spruce

What made you want to look up spruce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to state or do over again or repeatedly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!