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

Baghdad was nominated as the 2013 Arab Capital of Culture, and officials were keen to spruce up its marquee attractions. Peter Schwartzstein, Smithsonian, "What the Restoration of Iraq’s Oldest University Says About the Nation’s Future," 4 Sep. 2019 Next to the outdoor bar, an infinity pool complete with a swim-up bar and a giant dual-sided TV screen overlooks a lawn and creek that developers have agreed to spruce up as part of building the resort. Dallas News, "'A resort in the middle of Arlington': Live! by Loews Hotel is ready for its debut," 22 Aug. 2019 Making that happen required Target to spruce up dreary stores. Fortune, "Big-Box Rebound: How Target Packaged a Turnaround," 20 Aug. 2019 New owners Luke Hayden and Meghan Murphy, both former Regal bartenders and managers, spruced up the place and opened as Parlour in mid-July. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, "Parlour in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner will serve you before and after the cinema," 5 Sep. 2019 The garden club spruces up the Stearns grounds and plants flowers each year. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Ridgewood Garden Club, city spruce up herb, flower gardens at Stearns Homestead: Sun Postings," 6 Aug. 2019 The single-story interior has been spruced up dramatically during the tailback’s ownership. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Former Charger Darren Sproles puts Poway mansion on the market," 22 July 2019 The iconic venue at 195 Piccadilly will get an entire floor dedicated to learning and new talent programs. The British Academy is sprucing up its iconic London headquarters at 195 Piccadilly. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "BAFTA Renovating London HQ, Doubling Capacity," 16 July 2019 Opendoor spruced up the property and put it back on the market for $200,000. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "The Future of Housing Rises in Phoenix," 19 June 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

After a lightning strike sparked it on June 21, that fire had consumed spruce and muskeg over a swath the size of New York City. Anchorage Daily News, "Atmospheric rivers are sometimes good, sometimes bad for Alaska," 31 Aug. 2019 Monkey 47, for example, has classic botanicals like juniper and coriander but also lingonberries and spruce. John Kell, Fortune, "Gin Sales Are Booming and It Could Be Thanks to the Growing Plant Craze," 22 June 2019 Oaks are the number one choice, followed by willow, cherry, birch, crabapple, maple, pine, hickory, hawthorn and spruce, in descending order. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "What other native trees should I plant?," 13 June 2019 Tencel fibers do come from trees – mainly beech, birch, eucalyptus and spruce – but again, the wood pulp has been manufactured into a fiber. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Tencel Fabric," 23 May 2019 The city removed 300 spruce trees in 2002 due to an infestation, then 200 more in 2012. Andrew Kenney, The Denver Post, "A beetle that burrows into spruce trees has infected Denver city parks," 11 Sep. 2019 In southeast Alaska, the normally lush forests are falling prey to spruce bark beetles and hemlock sawflys, which are taking advantage of a lack of rainfall and higher than average temperatures. Matthew Cappucci And Andrew Freedman, chicagotribune.com, "More freak weather comes to Alaska, which has had an unprecedented summer," 19 Aug. 2019 In southeast Alaska, the normally lush forests are falling prey to spruce bark beetles and hemlock sawflys, which are taking advantage of a lack of rainfall and higher than average temperatures. Author: Matthew Cappucci, Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "More freak weather comes to Alaska, which has had an unprecedented summer," 17 Aug. 2019 Dwarf blue globe spruce was all the rage back when everyone wanted their garden to look like Martha Stewart’s. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Blundering Gardener: The things you think of — and cry about — when gardening," 13 July 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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Statistics for spruce

Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spruce

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

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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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