[ 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

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


spruce·ly, adverbspruce·ness, nounun·spruced, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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|Michael Schulson|September 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
  • “Jack is sprucing up for the girls,” observed Pepper, with a wink at Andy.

    The Putnam Hall Cadets|Arthur M. Winfield
  • Since his money-feathers were beginning to grow again he felt like sprucing about.

    Sister Carrie|Theodore Dreiser
  • "Sprucing up" is West Point for the morning house-cleaning in the summer camp.

    On Guard|Upton Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for sprucing (1 of 2)

/ (spruːs) /


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 sprucing (2 of 2)

/ (spruːs) /


neat, smart, and trim

Derived forms of spruce

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