Spruce leather
Spruce 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 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}. [1913 Webster]

2. The wood or timber of the spruce tree. [1913 Webster]

3. Prussia leather; pruce. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Spruce, a sort of leather corruptly so called for Prussia leather. --E. Phillips. [1913 Webster]

{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 beer 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}. (Zo["o]l.) Same as {Spruce partridge}, below.

{Spruce leather}. See {Spruce}, n., 3.

{Spruce partridge} (Zo["o]l.), a handsome American grouse ({Dendragapus Canadensis}) found in Canada and the Northern United States; -- called also {Canada grouse}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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 beer — Spruce 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spruce grouse — Spruce 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spruce partridge — Spruce 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… …   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 — 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 — 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 /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… …   Universalium

  • spruce — spruce1 [spru:s] n [U and C] [Date: 1600 1700; Origin: spruce fir spruce , from Spruce Prussia , former European country, now part of Germany (14 17 centuries)] a tree that grows in northern countries and has short leaves shaped like needles… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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