Webster 1913 Edition
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,
Any coniferous tree of the genus
Picea, as the Norway spruce (
Picea excelsa), and the white and black spruces of America (
Picea nigra), besides several others in the far Northwest. See
The wood or timber of the spruce tree.
Prussia leather; pruce.
Spruce, a sort of leather corruptly so called for Prussia leather.
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.–
a graceful coniferous tree (–
Tsuga Canadensis) of North America. Its timber is valuable, and the bark is largely used in tanning leather.
sprossesprout, shoot (akin to E.
sprout, n.) +
bierbeer. The word was changed into
sprucebeer because the beer came from Prussia (OE.
Spruce), or because it was made from the sprouts of the spruce. See
Beer, and cf.
A kind of beer which is tinctured or flavored with spruce, either by means of the extract or by decoction.–
Spruce partridge, below.
a handsome American grouse (
Dendragapus Canadensis) found in Canada and the Northern United States; – called also
sprucea sort of leather from Prussia, which was an article of finery. See
Neat, without elegance or dignity; smart; trim; – formerly applied to things with a serious meaning; now chiefly applied to persons.“Neat and spruce array.”
Remedy of Love.
[Obs.]“Now, my spruce companions.”
He is so
sprucethat he can never be genteel.
Syn. – Finical; neat; trim. See–
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To dress with affected neatness; to trim; to make spruce; – often used with
spruceup the house for Company
To dress one’s self with affected neatness;
Webster 1828 Edition
He is so spruce, that he never can be genteel.