spruce

1
[ sproos ]
/ sprus /

noun

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.

adjective

made from the wood of a spruce tree or trees.
containing or abounding in spruce trees.

Origin of spruce

1
1350–1400; Middle English, special use of Spruce, sandhi variant of Pruce < Old French Pruce < Medieval Latin Prussia Prussia, whence the timber came

Definition for spruce (2 of 2)

spruce

2
[ sproos ]
/ sprus /

adjective, spruc·er, spruc·est.

trim in dress or appearance; neat; smart; dapper.

verb (used with object), spruced, spruc·ing.

to make spruce or smart (often followed by up): Spruce up the children before the company comes.

verb (used without object), spruced, spruc·ing.

to make oneself spruce (usually followed by up).

Origin of spruce

2
1580–90; obsolete spruce jerkin orig., jerkin made of spruce leather, i.e., leather imported from Prussia (see spruce1), hence fine, smart, etc.

Related forms

spruce·ly, adverbspruce·ness, nounun·spruced, adjective
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British Dictionary definitions for spruce (1 of 2)

spruce

1
/ (spruːs) /

noun

any coniferous tree of the N temperate genus Picea, cultivated for timber and for ornament: family Pinaceae. They grow in a pyramidal shape and have needle-like leaves and light-coloured woodSee also Norway spruce, blue spruce, white spruce, black spruce
the wood of any of these trees

Word Origin for spruce

C17: short for Spruce fir, from C14 Spruce Prussia, changed from Pruce, via Old French from Latin Prussia

British Dictionary definitions for spruce (2 of 2)

spruce

2
/ (spruːs) /

adjective

neat, smart, and trim

Derived Forms

sprucely, adverbspruceness, noun

Word Origin for spruce

C16: perhaps from Spruce leather a fashionable leather imported from Prussia; see spruce 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012