1 [sproos]
any evergreen, coniferous tree of the genus Picea, of the pine family, having short, angular, needle-shaped leaves attached singly around twigs and bearing hanging cones with persistent scales.
any of various allied trees, as the Douglas fir and the hemlock spruce.
the wood of any such tree.
made from the wood of a spruce tree or trees.
containing or abounding in spruce trees.

1350–1400; Middle English, special use of Spruce, sandhi variant of Pruce < Old French Pruce < Medieval Latin Prussia Prussia, whence the timber came

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2 [sproos]
adjective, sprucer, sprucest.
trim in dress or appearance; neat; smart; dapper.
verb (used with object), spruced, sprucing.
to make spruce or smart (often followed by up ): Spruce up the children before the company comes.
verb (used without object), spruced, sprucing.
to make oneself spruce (usually followed by up ).

1580–90; obsolete spruce jerkin orig., jerkin made of spruce leather, i.e., leather imported from Prussia (see spruce1), hence fine, smart, etc.

sprucely, adverb
spruceness, noun
unspruced, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
spruce1 (spruːs)
1.  Norway spruce blue spruce white spruce See also black spruce any coniferous tree of the N temperate genus Picea, cultivated for timber and for ornament: family Pinaceae. They grow in a pyramidal shape and have needle-like leaves and light-coloured wood
2.  the wood of any of these trees
[C17: short for Spruce fir, from C14 Spruce Prussia, changed from Pruce, via Old French from Latin Prussia]

spruce2 (spruːs)
neat, smart, and trim
[C16: perhaps from Spruce leather a fashionable leather imported from Prussia; see spruce1]

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Word Origin & History

"evergreen tree," 1660s, from spruse (adj.) "made of spruce wood" (early 15c.), lit. "from Prussia," from Spruce, Sprws (late 14c.), unexplained alterations of Pruce "Prussia," from O.Fr. Spruce seems to have been a generic term for commodities brought to England by Hanseatic merchants (beer, board,
leather, see spruce (v.)), and the tree was believed to have come from Prussia.

1594, from the adj. meaning "to make trim or neat," from spruce leather (1466, see spruce (n.)), which was used to make a popular style of jerkins in the 1400s that was considered smart-looking.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
To spruce them up for the holidays, set the topiary tree in an attractive
The companies are trying to spruce up the all-in-one desktops by offering
  additional options such as touchscreens.
Spruce forest, swamps, and aspen and willow thickets.
The fir deck is painted spruce gray to complement the periwinkle stucco walls
  screening the hot tub.
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