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

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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

In 1989, Galdo bought his home on Front Street near Lee and started sprucing up the eyesore across the street. Grace Shallow, Philly.com, "Appeals court rules in favor of Fishtown man who fixed up city lot," 23 Apr. 2018 Ongoing displays will be in the conservatory from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 AVON Yard waste: Time to start sprucing up the yard for spring. Julie A. Short/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Avon celebrates Arbor Day, searching for the biggest tree: Short Takes on Avon, Avon Lake and North Ridgeville," 26 Mar. 2018 So, before all the co-eds head off to campus this fall, Vogue picked just the things to spruce up even the smallest spaces. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "13 Stylish Items Every College Student Should Have in Their Dorm Room," 15 Aug. 2018 Chicago officials have asked for proposals on building a hotel adjacent to O’Hare Airport’s international terminal and for sprucing up the O’Hare Hilton when Hilton’s lease expires at year’s end. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "Wait, When Did Airport Hotels Turn Cool?," 23 May 2018 During an earlier phase of restoration, the Segals reconstructed partitions that had been taken down and spruced up the the kitchen and bathroom with period details down to the original hardware. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Marcel Breuer’s 1950 Lauck House restored to its original glory," 21 Dec. 2018 As the 1980s approached, the city started to look for a new tenant to spruce up the decaying Chalet. Bill Van Niekerken, SFChronicle.com, "Beach Chalet: From 1925 draw to dangerous dive bar to SF classic," 27 June 2018 Projects that spruce up your exterior can really run the gamut in priicng. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "Is Your Renovation Actually Worth It?," 13 July 2018 Meanwhile, Shelton looked dapper in a traditional black suit and tie, spruced up by a simple boutonnière. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Gwen Stefani & Blake Shelton Get Romantic at Pal's Wedding — and She Dances to 'Hollaback Girl'!," 3 June 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

The brown dishes are like the bark on Norwegian spruce. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "Sunrise Ruffalo, Wife of Actor Mark Ruffalo, Launches a Chic Homewares Pop-Up in Los Angeles," 18 Apr. 2019 For countless generations their people have lowered spruce branches into Sitka Sound upon which herring lay eggs. Author: Charles Wohlforth | Opinion, Anchorage Daily News, "Forget the circle of life. In this fisheries decision, we are playing for keeps.," 22 Jan. 2018 In Alaska too: Typically, traps around Fairbanks catch about 150 spruce bark beetles a season. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Voracious spruce bark beetles are back in force in Southcentral Alaska," 10 June 2018 Coniferous trees keep their foliage and include pines, cypresses, firs, redwoods, spruces, and cedars. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Can You Ace This 5th Grade Science Test?," 29 Aug. 2018 Adelgids produce little white masses that suck sap from spruce needles. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "Your Christmas Tree Might Be Filled With Bugs," 29 Nov. 2016 The fire was burning in challenging mountain terrain with a mix of pine, fir and spruce trees, said fire information spokesman Dave Sabo. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "Glacier latest US park to be scorched by Western wildfires," 13 Aug. 2018 At Bloomsbury Blooms' small shop downtown on Fourth Avenue one recent morning, Wildeve arranged foraged birch branches and spruce along with California roses, poppies and other flowers at a table in the back of the studio for a customer order. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Shop Talk: Floral studio owner on how staying small helped business flourish," 24 Mar. 2018 Then there's the spruce, which takes on a blue shade. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Noffke Tree Farm celebrates 65 years in the Christmas tree business," 14 Dec. 2017

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

1 May 2019

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)

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

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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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