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To make someone, something, or oneself more tidy, refined, elegant, or stylish. A noun or pronoun can be used between "spruce" and "up." I think it's time to spruce the house up a bit—it feels a little outdated and disheveled. You don't look so good! You'd better go spruce yourself up in the bathroom before you go up to give your speech. He's spent the whole summer sprucing up his grandfather's old Camaro.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
spruce someone or something up
1. Lit. to tidy up and groom someone or something. Laura's mother took a few minutes to spruce her daughter up for the party. She spruced up her room each day.
2. Fig. to refurbish or renew someone or something. Do you think we should spruce this room up a little? Yes, let's spruce up this room with new furniture and drapes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Make neat and trim, as in She spruced up the chairs with new cushions. This idiom originated in the late 1500s as simply spruce but had acquired up by 1676.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To make someone or something neat, elegant, and stylish in appearance: The new curtains will certainly spruce up this drab room. She spruced herself up and went out to dinner.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.