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 And many of us used that time to spruce up our surroundings. Washington Post, "Cleaning, decluttering, victory gardens: The most-read home and garden stories of 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 The Mallons have been using their extra time to spruce up their new house and their extra savings to buy furniture and appliances. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Covid-19 Deals Different Hands for Family Finances," 29 Dec. 2020 Other items available for purchase include a set of four drinking glasses (in a single color or a set with one of each); funky side bowls, plates and spruce steamers. Christine Persaud, USA TODAY, "Our Place is having a sale on gift cards and you can use them on the famous Always Pan," 22 Dec. 2020 For these organizers, there’s always an opportunity to spruce things up even further. Michella Oré, Glamour, "The Home Edit’s $25 Secret to a Perfectly Organized Pantry," 16 Dec. 2020 End-of-year trend reports and predictions for 2021 are full of ideas that homeowners can tap into to spruce up their spaces. Kim Palmer, Star Tribune, "10 home trends to enhance your space for the winter ahead," 11 Dec. 2020 Vegetable gardens and fruit trees including peach, lemon and apricot spruce up the space. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Nick Kroll gets more than he asked for Los Feliz home," 18 Nov. 2020 These sets will spruce things up when everyone in the house is tired of screens and all caught up on The Mandalorian. Simon Hill, Wired, "The Best Family Board Games," 15 Nov. 2020 This square throw made of pretty waffle weave fabric pillow will spruce up an armchair or couch while also adding comfort. Liv Birdsall, USA TODAY, "The 40 best gifts to buy from Wayfair," 5 Nov. 2020 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 The mill was one of the area's biggest buyers of spruce and balsam fir trees. Greg Stanley, Star Tribune, "Trees that once fed Duluth paper mill could become tinder for wildfires," 14 Dec. 2020 That might include cutting down a fragrant spruce or balsam fir at a Christmas tree farm. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Presence, not presents: Finding meaning in a minimalist Christmas," 22 Dec. 2020 Aside from pulp, there are few industrial uses for spruce or fir. Greg Stanley, Star Tribune, "Trees that once fed Duluth paper mill could become tinder for wildfires," 14 Dec. 2020 Almost immediately, 600 yards away, a large bull strolled out of a spruce glade. Susan Casey, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: An Improbable Elk Hunt," 6 Dec. 2020 And the Wild Desserts and Foraged Cocktails section highlights the flavors of spruce, maple, and sumac. Tony Jones Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "New cookbooks for hunters, anglers and foragers are field guides of a different sort," 10 Dec. 2020 In addition to the spruce, other parts of the castle were also gussied up for the holiday season. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, "The Royal Family Decorated Windsor Castle for Christmas, and It Looks Stunning," 3 Dec. 2020 And, of course, Yoda's Blend (8.6%), brewed with a complex blend of hops featuring currant, spruce/pine and tropical notes. Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, "Top 5 Michigan craft beer holiday packs to get you through the rest of 2020," 2 Dec. 2020 And so, until a spruce truce is reached again, keep refreshing those Twitter feeds. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Star Al Roker and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Have Reignited Their Twitter Feud," 2 Dec. 2020

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

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spruce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spruce. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!