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

Other Words from spruce

Adjective

sprucely adverb
spruceness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for spruce

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 To survive, porcupines depend on nutritious springtime greenery, which must be delicious after months of nibbling bark and spruce needles. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Jan. 2022 Despite spending an additional $80 million or so to spruce up the place, Turnberry has continued to lose money year after year. Dan Alexander, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 What other corners and unconventional spaces are perfect to spruce up for something like that? Essence, 23 Dec. 2021 Apple is also delaying its January return to office, and even giving employees a $1,000 stipend to spruce up their at-home workstations, according to reports. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 16 Dec. 2021 The creators even offered a service to spruce up customers’ own wreaths for only $7. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 13 Dec. 2021 If regular ornaments are too boring to hang on the Christmas tree this year, Miller Lite is selling mini-beer sized ornaments to spruce up your holiday season: Beernaments. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 9 Dec. 2021 Looking for some home goods to spruce up your space? Elise Taylor, Vogue, 30 Nov. 2021 These operations cut down a lot of trees: pine and hardwood forests in the South; and spruce, pine, and red cedars in British Columbia. Sarah Miller, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The interior is built from spruce wood planks and beech dowels, which means that residents can reassemble walls, dividers, counters, storage and furniture as needed to transform the space. CNN, 27 May 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 14 June 2017 At this point, there’s nothing stopping the spruce beetle. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, 25 Jan. 2017 A spruce hen aggressively defended her chicks from competitors. Alaska Dispatch News, 30 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Starting with the spraying that is going on because of spruce bark beetles. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 25 June 2020 Softwoods like spruce and pine are the backbone of light construction, and a steady supply is key to restraining the rising cost of home building. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 29 Nov. 2021 White pine, White spruce and Scotch pine available for you-cut. Annie Alleman, chicagotribune.com, 22 Nov. 2021 One of the Proxies tastes of cedar, spruce and juniper, another of galangal, Kruse said. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 Nov. 2021 Although the room had undergone some spruce-ups in the past, this redesign elevated its style with layers of texture and custom elements. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Nov. 2021 The spruce, about 85 years old, had stood near the family's house. Fox News, 13 Nov. 2021 At the end of the tree-cutting ceremony, neighborhood kids gathered around the stump to count the rings, which indicate the tree’s age, and placed a sprouting baby tree at the site where the spruce stood moments earlier. Callan Tansill-suddath, baltimoresun.com, 11 Nov. 2021 Simply put, taking a spruce indoors doesn’t work no matter the season. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Nov. 2021

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

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

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best artificial christmas trees.

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Time Traveler for spruce

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near spruce

Spruance

spruce

spruce aphid

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Statistics for spruce

Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spruce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spruce. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for spruce

spruce

adjective

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

: neat, clean, or stylish in appearance

spruce

noun

English Language Learners Definition of spruce (Entry 3 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

More from Merriam-Webster on spruce

Nglish: Translation of spruce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spruce for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spruce

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