noun \ˈbərch\

: a type of tree that has outer bark which can be pulled off easily

: the hard, pale wood of the birch

the birch : the punishment of being hit with a birch stick

Full Definition of BIRCH

:  any of a genus (Betula of the family Betulaceae, the birch family) of monoecious deciduous trees or shrubs having simple petioled leaves and typically a layered membranous outer bark that peels readily
:  the hard pale close-grained wood of a birch
:  a birch rod or bundle of twigs for flogging
birch or birch·en \ˈbər-chən\ adjective

Examples of BIRCH

  1. a cabinet made of birch
  2. In those days, schoolchildren got the birch when they misbehaved.

Origin of BIRCH

Middle English, from Old English beorc; akin to Old High German birka birch, Old English beorht bright, and probably to Latin fraxinus ash tree — more at bright
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with BIRCH



Definition of BIRCH

transitive verb
:  to beat with or as if with a birch :  whip

Examples of BIRCH

  1. <students at the private school were once routinely birched for violating the rules>
  2. <always a stern disciplinarian, our father birched anyone who talked back>

First Known Use of BIRCH



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of about 40 species of short-lived ornamental and timber trees and shrubs of the genus Betula, the largest genus of the family Betulaceae, which also contains alders, filberts, Carpinus (hornbeam), and the genera Ostrya and Ostryopsis. Birches are found throughout cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere; other members of the family Betulaceae are found in temperate and subarctic areas of the Northern Hemisphere, in tropical mountains, and in South America through the Andes as far south as Argentina. Leaves are simple, serrate, and alternate; male and female flowers (catkins) are borne on the same plant. The fruit is a small nut or short-winged samara (dry, winged fruit). Birches produce economically important timber. Oil obtained from birch twigs smells and tastes like wintergreen and is used in tanning Russian leather (see tanning).


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