spruce

Spruce is a verb that means you pay special attention to your personal appearance, especially your grooming and clothing. If you want to spruce up for a wedding, you'll need to rent a tuxedo and do something with your hair.

Spruce can also mean that you're making something else look better. You might spruce up the living room before your girlfriend's visit by vacuuming, throwing away all the trash, and putting away the dishes you left sitting around. Spruce is typically used in combination with the word up: spruce up. Spruce's use as a verb possibly originated from "spruce leather," which was used to make a popular type of jacket back in the 1400s.

Primary Meanings of spruce

1.
n
any coniferous tree of the genus Picea
2.
adjv
marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
make neat, smart, or trim
Full Definitions of spruce
1

n any coniferous tree of the genus Picea

Types:
show 10 types...
hide 10 types...
Norway spruce, Picea abies
tall pyramidal spruce native to northern Europe having dark green foliage on spreading branches with pendulous branchlets and long pendulous cones
Brewer's spruce, Picea breweriana, weeping spruce
medium-sized spruce of California and Oregon having pendulous branches
Engelmann spruce, Engelmann's spruce, Picea engelmannii
tall spruce of Rocky Mountains and British Columbia with blue-green needles and acutely conic crown; wood used for rough lumber and boxes
Picea glauca, white spruce
medium-sized spruce of northeastern North America having short blue-green leaves and slender cones
Picea mariana, black spruce, spruce pine
small spruce of boggy areas of northeastern North America having spreading branches with dense foliage; inferior wood
Picea obovata, Siberian spruce
tall spruce of northern Europe and Asia; resembles Norway spruce
Picea sitchensis, Sitka spruce
a large spruce that grows only along the northwestern coast of the United States and Canada; has sharp stiff needles and thin bark; the wood has a high ratio of strength to weight
Picea orientalis, oriental spruce
evergreen tree of the Caucasus and Asia Minor used as an ornamental having pendulous branchlets
Colorado blue spruce, Colorado spruce, Picea pungens, silver spruce
tall spruce with blue-green needles and dense conic crown; older trees become columnar with lower branches sweeping downward
Picea rubens, eastern spruce, red spruce, yellow spruce
medium-sized spruce of eastern North America; chief lumber spruce of the area; source of pulpwood
Type of:
conifer, coniferous tree
any gymnospermous tree or shrub bearing cones

n light soft moderately strong wood of spruce trees; used especially for timbers and millwork

Type of:
wood
the hard fibrous lignified substance under the bark of trees
2

adj marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners

Synonyms:
dapper, dashing, jaunty, natty, raffish, rakish, snappy, spiffy
fashionable, stylish
being or in accordance with current social fashions

v make neat, smart, or trim

Spruce up your house for Spring”
Synonyms:
slick up, smarten up, spiff up, spruce up, titivate, tittivate
Type of:
beautify, embellish, fancify, prettify
make more beautiful

v dress and groom with particular care, as for a special occasion

“He spruced up for the party”
Synonyms:
slick up, smarten up, spruce up
Type of:
groom, neaten
care for one's external appearance

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.