Spruce (?), n. [OE. Spruce or Pruse, Prussia, Prussian. So named because it was first known as a native of Prussia, or because its sprouts were used for making, spruce beer. Cf. Spruce beer, below, Spruce, a.]

1. Bot.

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.


The wood or timber of the spruce tree.


Prussia leather; pruce.


Spruce, a sort of leather corruptly so called for Prussia leather. E. Phillips.

Douglas spruce Bot., a valuable timber tree (Pseudotsuga Douglasii) of Northwestern America. -- Essence of spruce, a thick, dark-colored, bitterish, and acidulous liquid made by evaporating a decoction of the young branches of spruce. -- Hemlock spruce Bot., a graceful coniferous tree (Tsuga Canadensis) of North America. Its timber is valuable, and the bark is largely used in tanning leather. -- Spruce beer. [G. sprossenbier; sprosse sprout, shoot (akin to E. sprout, n.) + bier beer. The word was changed into spruce because the beer came from Prussia (OE. Spruce), or because it was made from the sprouts of the spruce. See Sprout, n., Beer, and cf. Spruce, n.] A kind of beer which is tinctured or flavored with spruce, either by means of the extract or by decoction. -- Spruce grouse. Zool. Same as Spruce partridge, below. -- Spruce leather. See Spruce, n., 3. -- Spruce partridge Zool., a handsome American grouse (Dendragapus Canadensis) found in Canada and the Northern United States; -- called also Canada grouse.


© Webster 1913.

Spruce (?), a. [Compar. Sprucer (?); superl. Sprucest] [Perhaps fr. spruce a sort of leather from Prussia, which was an article of finery. See Spruce, n.]


Neat, without elegance or dignity; -- formerly applied to things with a serious meaning; now chiefly applied to persons.

"Neat and spruce array."

Remedy of Love.


Sprightly; dashing.

[Obs.] "Now, my spruce companions."


He is so spruce that he can never be genteel. Tatler.

Syn. -- Finical; neat; trim. See Finical.

-- Sruce"ly, adv. -- Spruce"ness, n.


© Webster 1913.

Spruce, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spruced (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sprucing (?).]

To dress with affected neatness; to trim; to make spruce.


© Webster 1913.

Spruce, v. i.

To dress one's self with affected neatness; as, to spruce up.


© Webster 1913.