- any evergreen, coniferous tree of the genus Picea, of the pine family, having short, angular, needle-shaped leaves attached singly around twigs and bearing hanging cones with persistent scales.
- any of various allied trees, as the Douglas fir and the hemlock spruce.
- the wood of any such tree.
- made from the wood of a spruce tree or trees.
- containing or abounding in spruce trees.
Origin of spruce1
- trim in dress or appearance; neat; smart; dapper.
- to make spruce or smart (often followed by up): Spruce up the children before the company comes.
- to make oneself spruce (usually followed by up).
Origin of spruce2
Examples from the Web for spruce
In Long Beach, the good old Queen Mary and Spruce Goose could finally sail again.California Sinkin’: What Rising Sea Levels Will Mean for the Golden State
June 30, 2012
Unfortunately, the FDNY is too busy to tell you how to avoid turning your 10-foot spruce into a 10-foot match.Christmas Trees on Fire: The Best PSA (VIDEO)
December 21, 2011
Along the edge of the green pines and spruce were lavender asters.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Struts (also of spruce, as is all the framework) are elliptical in shape.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
The air was fragrant with spruce and pine and faint, aromatic wintergreen.The Innocent Adventuress
Mary Hastings Bradley
Pour sixteen gallons of warm water into a barrel, with twelve pounds of molasses, and half a pound of the essence of spruce.
It is found on dead pine, spruce, balsam, and other conifers.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
- neat, smart, and trim
Word Origin and History for spruce
"evergreen tree," 1660s, from spruse (adj.) "made of spruce wood" (early 15c.), literally "from Prussia," from Spruce, Sprws (late 14c.), unexplained alterations of Pruce "Prussia," from an Old French form of Prussia. Spruce seems to have been a generic term for commodities brought to England by Hanseatic merchants (beer, board, leather, see spruce (v.)), and the tree was believed to have come from Prussia.
1590s, from the adjective meaning "to make trim or neat," from spruce leather (mid-15c., see spruce (n.)), which was used to make a popular style of jerkins in the 1400s that was considered smart-looking.