- A widespread coniferous tree which has a distinctive conical shape and hanging cones, widely grown for timber, pulp, and Christmas trees.
More example sentences
- Genus Picea, family Pinaceae: many species
- The best trees to plant with wildlife in mind are cherry and mulberry for their fruits, pines and spruces for their seed-bearing cones and deciduous trees that vary in size and density.
- This nest is usually in a spruce or other conifer and may be 4'40 feet up.
- ‘I wanted my husband to plant a big spruce so that at Christmas I could decorate it with lights,’ she says.
late Middle English (denoting Prussia or something originating in Prussia): alteration of obsolete Pruce 'Prussia'. The application to the tree dates from the early 17th century.
- Neat in dress and appearance: Angela was a very spruce and tidy personMore example sentences
- In outward appearance, he was a cherubically round man, about 45, in a spruce pinstripe suit and a new blue tie.
- To turn up at County Hall looking dapper and spruce would have been to strike a false, jarring note of misplaced optimism.
- The place has also recently been restored and so is looking quite spruce.
verb[with object] (spruce someone/thing up) Back to top
- Make someone or something smarter or tidier: the fund will be used to spruce up historic buildingsMore example sentences
smarten up, make smarter, tidy up, make tidy, make neater, neaten up, put in order, clean up• informal do upNorth American • informal gussy upprink oneself, pretty oneself, beautify oneself; British have a wash and brush-up• informal titivate oneself, doll oneself upBritish • informal tart oneself up• archaic plume oneself, trig oneself
- The existing factory buildings have been spruced up to house exhibition, workshop and office spaces.
- A further £200,000 will be spent sprucing up the city's war memorials and a plaque will be put up by the Cenotaph - listing, for the first time, soldiers killed on active duty since the Second World War.
- The council has adopted a 12-month strategy aimed at sprucing up the city's streets.
- More example sentences
- The boys were sprucely dressed in the customary costume of shirt, breeches, stockings and shiny black shoes.
- He is dressed sprucely, except for his rubber overshoes, evidences of the chill, watery Parisian spring.
- At a glance one would have described them as middle-class and lower middle-class men with their wives and children sprucely dressed in their Sunday best.
late 16th century: perhaps from spruce1 in the obsolete sense 'Prussian', in the phrase spruce (leather) jerkin.