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

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 Lucky's got its start in late 2002, when Bo and Trish Sharon spruced up their North Boulder Market and renamed it Lucky's Market. Nathaniel Meyersohn And Alicia Wallace, CNN, "How a beloved organic grocery chain collapsed," 7 Feb. 2020 Volunteer Help paint a house, spruce up city landscaping, clean up litter from the streets, or walk dogs at the animal shelter. Julie Pennell, Teen Vogue, "19 Fun Things to Do Outside, Wherever You Live," 6 Feb. 2020 Cos’s grey roll neck sweater is a perfect addition to anyone’s office wardrobe, while Whistles and Stine Goya’s eye-catching colors will spruce up a typical all-black winter uniform. Anny Choi, Vogue, "The Warmest Winter Sweaters Under $300 to Shop Now," 17 Jan. 2020 If possible, enlist family members for help both physically and mentally in decluttering, making decisions or sprucing up a house to sell. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Plan ahead when downsizing for a smoother, happier transition to your new home," 16 Jan. 2020 Upstarts like Back Market and Mac of All Trades—marketplaces connecting shops that spruce up and resell old iPhones and laptops with shoppers who want them—are joining the trend. Kevin Kelleher, Fortune, "Retailers reuse and recycle the way to increased growth," 15 Jan. 2020 Piles of mostly spruce stacked in the rail yard stretch to the horizon. National Geographic, "Will the skyscrapers of the future be made out of wood?," 13 Jan. 2020 The building is the latest to receive updates as landlords spruce up 1980s era properties to compete as Houston's downtown office vacancy reached 18.9 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Madison Marquette. Katherine Feser, Houston Chronicle, "1001 Fannin office tower downtown slated for $20 million renovations," 10 Jan. 2020 The Carroll Baldwin Hall had some sprucing up recently but there is more work to be done. Christina Hyder, baltimoresun.com, "North Laurel/Savage: Caroll Baldwin Hall spruces up for the holidays," 22 Nov. 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 Meanwhile, a year later, the skinny spruce tree still holds the trail camera, pointed at the den. Anchorage Daily News, "The secret life of a red fox family," 28 Mar. 2020 Our water comes from a well under an old, grandmotherly spruce tree that presides over our front lawn. Caitlin Shetterly, New York Times, "My Quest for Pure Water," 5 Mar. 2020 The insect will infest hemlock, fir and spruce trees and suck sap from the foliage, causing the foliage to become discolored and drop. USA TODAY, "Lego impeachment, emotional support coyote, mumbo sauce: News from around our 50 states," 21 Dec. 2019 They are typically found on the lower boughs of evergreen, pine, balsam fir, spruce, Fraser fir, and white fir trees. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Thousands of Christmas Tree Bugs May Be Living In Your Real Tree — Here's How to Get Rid of Them," 30 Oct. 2019 Neither dull nor beige, the landscape teemed with towering spruce and birch trees, brake-testing hills and bracing views of Lake Superior. Ingela Ratledge Amundson, WSJ, "The Gas Station That Frank Lloyd Wright Built," 29 Jan. 2020 The Frosted Balsam candle has notes of balsam, spruce and holly, and features three wicks. Hanna Flanagan, PEOPLE.com, "Hallmark Recalls 4,500 Candles After Reports of Glass Jars Shattering," 26 Dec. 2019 This model has a spruce top, rosewood neck, and meranti back and sides. Popular Science, "Kid-friendly guitars for the aspiring young strummer," 21 Jan. 2020 The 2019 spruce was planted in D.C. in late October and has been under the care of the National Park Service. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "Watch live: President Trump lights the National Christmas Tree," 5 Dec. 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.

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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

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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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Statistics for spruce

Last Updated

2 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spruce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spruce. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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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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Comments on spruce

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