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

My first issue cropped up in June 2017, when the publisher went back to 2016's Forza Horizon 3 and spruced it up for a PC launch. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "My confusing, 10-day journey to getting a UWP game to work on Windows 10," 3 Oct. 2018 The Hancock County town of 4,000 residents northeast of Indianapolis will invest $2.5 million to spruce up its own Main Street with road repaving, wider sidewalks, landscaping and curb redesigns. Indianapolis Star, "Here comes Fortville: Tiny burg nabs $9M in funds for Main Street facelift, trail," 18 June 2018 Mushers and their teams will travel from Willow on a winding trail through birch and spruce woods to Yentna Station, along river trails to Skwentna and then uphill to Finger Lake. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "When will the 2018 Iditarod start? (And answers to 15 other race questions)," 24 Feb. 2018 Apple spruced up a lot of existing macOS features in this update, adding things like dynamic wallpapers that change throughout the day, desktop stacks for better organization, a gallery view for the Finder window, and a new true dark mode. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Apple software updates are coming—watchOS 5, tvOS, iOS 12 on 9/17, macOS on 9/24," 12 Sep. 2018 Shares of companies offering consumers ways to spruce up their homes have also held up relatively well, suggesting that investors aren’t betting on a complete pullback in spending. Akane Otani, WSJ, "Home-Builder Shares Miss Out on Stock Rally," 29 Aug. 2018 During the trial on Wednesday, it was revealed that Manafort decided to spruce up his wardrobe with suits and other purchases that clocked in at around $900,000, according to The New York Times. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Paul Manafort Spent Nearly a Million Dollars Trying to Dress Like a Cool Dad," 2 Aug. 2018 Middle school can be rough, which inspired a group of Texas teachers to spruce up the school bathrooms with motivational messages and help students start the new school year with confidence. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Texas middle school's 'bathroom inspiration project' aims to empower students," 13 Sep. 2018 Japanese fans turned heads by cleaning stadiums after games, but no one thought the national team also would take the time to spruce up the locker room. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "After gut-wrenching loss at World Cup, Japan left nice note in spotless locker room," 3 July 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

Orange, cinnamon bark, and spruce come together in a warm, joyful blend. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "These Essential Oils Will Make Your Entire Home Smell Like Christmas," 14 Oct. 2018 Find wood from spruce, aspen, birch, willow, or pine trees for kindling. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Stack Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018 Both publications discovered that similar decorations called podłaźnikiem, made with the top of a spruce tree and decorated with cookies, fruit, and paper chains, were suspended from ceilings of some Slavic homes. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Upside-Down Christmas Trees Everyone's Flipping for Actually Go Way Back," 25 Sep. 2018 Some of them include: glossy abelia, beauty berries, hydrangeas, Bradford and Callery pears, crabapples, poplar, spruce, junipers, sumacs, cherries, and plums. Leah Zerbe, Good Housekeeping, "Why You Should Stop Pruning Your Garden in the Fall," 8 Aug. 2018 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

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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Statistics for spruce

Last Updated

11 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on spruce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spruce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spruce

Spanish Central: Translation of spruce

Nglish: Translation of spruce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spruce for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spruce

Comments on spruce

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