from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various coniferous evergreen trees of the genus Picea, having needlelike foliage, drooping cones, and soft wood often used for paper pulp.
- n. Any of various similar or related trees.
- n. The wood of any of these trees.
- n. A grayish green to dark greenish black.
- adj. Neat, trim, and smart in appearance: "a good-looking man; spruce and dapper, and very tidy” ( Anthony Trollope).
- transitive v. To make neat and trim: spruced up the chairs with new slipcovers.
- intransitive v. To make oneself neat and smart in appearance: He was sprucing for the school dance.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of various large coniferous evergreen trees from the genus Picea, found in northern temperate and boreal regions; originally and more fully spruce fir.
- n. The wood of a spruce.
- n. Made of the wood of the spruce.
- adj. Smart, trim, and elegant in appearance; fastidious (said of a person).
- v. To arrange neatly; tidy up.
- v. ) To make oneself spruce (neat and elegant in appearance).
- v. To tease.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any coniferous tree of the genus Picea, as the Norway spruce (P. excelsa), and the white and black spruces of America (P. alba and P. nigra), besides several others in the far Northwest. See picea.
- n. The wood or timber of the spruce tree.
- n. Prussia leather; pruce.
- adj. Neat, without elegance or dignity; smart; trim; -- formerly applied to things with a serious meaning; now chiefly applied to persons.
- adj. Sprightly; dashing.
- transitive v. To dress with affected neatness; to trim; to make spruce; -- often used with up.
- intransitive v. To dress one's self with affected neatness.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Prussian leather. Compare Pruce.
- Smart in dress and appearance; affecting neatness or dapperness, especially in dress; trim; hence often, with a depreciatory force, dandified; smug.
- Over-fastidious; excessively nice; finical.
- Synonyms Foppish, etc. (see finical), smart, jaunty, nice, dandyish.
- To make spruce; trim or dress so as to present a smart appearance: sometimes followed by up.
- To brown, as the crust of bread, by heating the oven too much.
- To become spruce; assume or affect an air of smartness in dress: often followed by up.
- n. A coniferous tree of the genus Picea; a spruce-fir.
- n. P. Engelmanni, the most valuable timber-tree of the central Rocky Mountain region, where it forms extensive forests. Its wood is of a white or pale-yellow color, light and soft, in Colorado affording lumber, fuel, and charcoal. The bark is rich in tannin, which is locally utilized.
- n. P. pungens, a rare and local mountain species of the western United States. Also called blue spruce, Colorado blue spruce.
- n. An abbreviation of spruce-beer.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any coniferous tree of the genus Picea
- adj. marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
- v. make neat, smart, or trim
- v. dress and groom with particular care, as for a special occasion
- n. light soft moderately strong wood of spruce trees; used especially for timbers and millwork
Short for obsolete Spruce fir, Prussian fir, from Middle English Spruce, Prussia, alteration of Pruce from Anglo-Norman Pruz, from Medieval Latin Prussia.
Perhaps from obsolete spruce leather, Prussian leather, from Middle English Spruce, Prussia; see spruce1.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, an alteration of Pruce ("Prussia"). Spruce, spruse (1412), and Sprws (1378) were terms for commodities brought to England by Hanseatic merchants (beer, wood, leather). The tree with this name was also believed to have been native to Prussia. The adjective and verb senses ("trim, neat" and "to make trim, neat") are attested from 1594, and originate with spruce leather (1466), which was used to make a popular style of jerkins in the 1400s that was considered smart-looking. (Wiktionary)