spruce


spruce
spruce1
/sproohs/, n.
1. 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.
2. any of various allied trees, as the Douglas fir and the hemlock spruce.
3. the wood of any such tree.
adj.
4. made from the wood of a spruce tree or trees.
5. containing or abounding in spruce trees.
[1350-1400; ME, special use of Spruce, sandhi var. of Pruce < OF Pruce < ML Prussia PRUSSIA, whence the timber came]
spruce2
sprucely, adv.spruceness, n.
/sproohs/, adj., sprucer, sprucest, v., spruced, sprucing.
adj.
1. trim in dress or appearance; neat; smart; dapper.
v.t.
2. to make spruce or smart (often fol. by up): Spruce up the children before the company comes.
v.i.
3. to make oneself spruce (usually fol. by up).
[1580-90; obs. spruce jerkin orig., jerkin made of spruce leather, i.e., leather imported from Prussia (see SPRUCE1), hence fine, smart, etc.]

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Any of about 40 species of evergreen ornamental and timber trees that make up the genus Picea (pine family), native to temperate and cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

These pyramid-shaped trees have whorled branches and thin, scaly bark. The needlelike, spirally arranged leaves connect to their stems via a peglike woody base, which remains on the twig when the leaf falls. Tough, finely grained, resonant, and pliable, spruce wood is used for sounding boards in pianos and bodies of violins, as well as in construction, for boats and barrels, and as pulpwood. Common species throughout most of northern North America are black spruce (P. mariana), a source of spruce gum, and white spruce (P. glauca), a source of good timber. Blue, or Colorado spruce (P. pungens) is used as an ornamental because of its bluish leaves and symmetrical growth habit.

Black spruce (Picea mariana)

Grant Heilman
EB Inc.

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plant
 any of about 40 species of evergreen ornamental and timber trees constituting the genus Picea of the conifer family Pinaceae, native to the temperate and cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are pyramidal trees with whorled branches and thin, scaly bark. Each of the linear, spirally arranged leaves is jointed near the stem on a separate woody base. The base remains as a peglike projection on the twig when the leaf falls. The hanging, persistent-scaled cones are egg-shaped or cylindrical. Resonant spruce wood is used for sounding boards in pianos and the bodies of violins, as well as in construction and for boats and barrels and as pulpwood.

      Black spruce (Picea mariana) and white spruce (P. glauca) are found throughout most of northern North America, from the Great Lakes to the Arctic tree line. Both are used for pulp; white spruce produces good lumber, and black spruce is the source of spruce gum. White spruce usually is 18 to 21 metres (about 60 to 70 feet) tall. A drought-tolerant cultivar, Picea glauca ‘Black Hills,' is useful in landscaping and in windbreaks. The cones of black spruce are purple, those of white spruce brown. Engelmann spruce (P. engelmannii) of western North America is an important timber source. The blue spruce, or Colorado spruce (P. pungens), has a similar range and is used as an ornamental because of its bluish leaves and symmetrical growth habit.

      The Norway spruce (P. abies), an important timber and ornamental tree native to northern Europe, is used in reforestation both there and in North America.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spruce — (spr[udd]s), 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 Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spruce — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Richard Spruce (1817–1893), englischer Botaniker und Naturforscher Spruce bezeichnet folgende Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten Spruce (Michigan) Spruce (Nevada) Spruce (Wisconsin) Spruce Island, Insel des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • spruce — ● spruce nom masculin (anglais spruce, sapin) Bois de certains épicéas d Amérique du Nord. ⇒SPRUCE, subst. masc. BOT. Épicéa d Amérique du Nord. Des pins rachitiques, de l espèce appelée spruce par les Anglais (CHATEAUBR., Mél. littér., 1826, p.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Spruce — (spr[udd]s), a. [Compar. {Sprucer} (spr[udd] s[ e]r); superl. {Sprucest} (spr[udd] s[e^]st).] [Perhaps fr. spruce a sort of leather from Prussia, which was an article of finery. See {Spruce}, n.] 1. Neat, without elegance or dignity; smart; trim; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spruce — ‘neat’ [16] and spruce the tree [17] are completely different words, of course, but they could have a common origin – in Spruce, the old English name for Prussia. Spruce the tree was originally the spruce fir, literally the ‘Prussian fir’. And it …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • spruce — ‘neat’ [16] and spruce the tree [17] are completely different words, of course, but they could have a common origin – in Spruce, the old English name for Prussia. Spruce the tree was originally the spruce fir, literally the ‘Prussian fir’. And it …   Word origins

  • spruce — Ⅰ. spruce [1] ► ADJECTIVE ▪ neat and smart. ► VERB (spruce up) ▪ make smarter. ORIGIN perhaps from SPRUCE(Cf. ↑spruce) in the obsolete sense Prussian , in the phrase spruce leather jerkin. Ⅱ …   English terms dictionary

  • spruce — spruce1 [spro͞os] n. [ME Spruce, for Pruce, Prussia < OFr < ML Prussia: prob. because the tree was first known as a native of Prussia] 1. any of a genus (Picea) of evergreen trees of the pine family, having slender needles that are rhombic… …   English World dictionary

  • Spruce — Spruce, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spruced} (spr[udd]st); p. pr. & vb. n. {Sprucing} (spr[udd] s[i^]ng).] To dress with affected neatness; to trim; to make spruce; often used with up; as, to spruce up the house for Company. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spruce — Spruce, v. i. To dress one s self with affected neatness; as, to spruce up. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spruce up — (someone/something) to improve the appearance of someone or something. She needed to spruce up her image so she bought tons of new clothes and got a great new hairstyle. The city has to spruce itself up for the Olympics next year …   New idioms dictionary


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