(1) Marked by up-to-dateness in dress and manners
"A dapper young man"
"A jaunty red hat"
(2) Any coniferous tree of the genus Picea
(3) Light soft moderately strong wood of spruce trees; used especially for timbers and millwork
(4) Dress and groom with particular care, as for a special occasion
"He spruced up for the party"
(5) Make neat, smart, or trim
"Spruce up your house for Spring"
"Titivate the child"
From an alteration of Pruce ("Prussia"); Spruce, spruse (1412), and Sprws (1378) were generic 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.
- Any of various large coniferous evergreen trees from the genus Picea, found in northern temperate and boreal regions; originally and more fully spruce fir.
- The wood of a spruce.
- Made of the wood from a spruce.
- Smart, trim, and elegant in appearance; fastidious (said of a person).
- (usually with up) to arrange neatly; tidy up
- (usually with up) to make oneself spruce (neat and elegant in appearance)
- to tease