- 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
Related Wordsorganize, file, form, repair, overhaul, restore, redo, update, revamp, renovate, rehabilitate, recondition, modernize, remodel, refit, regenerate, reinvigorate, refresh, renew, revitalize
Examples from the Web for sprucing
He was helping protect the Yosemite Valley while he was sprucing up the hills of middle Manhattan.Keep Our Wilderness Off Of Wi-Fi
September 3, 2014
Since his money-feathers were beginning to grow again he felt like sprucing about.Sister Carrie
"Sprucing up" is West Point for the morning house-cleaning in the summer camp.On Guard
“Jack is sprucing up for the girls,” observed Pepper, with a wink at Andy.The Putnam Hall Cadets
Arthur M. Winfield
- neat, smart, and trim
Word Origin and History for sprucing
"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.