1

birch

play
noun \ ˈbərch \

Definition of birch

1 :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
2 :the hard pale close-grained wood of a birch
3 :a birch rod or bundle of twigs for flogging

birch

or birchen play \ˈbər-chən\ adjective

Examples of birch in a Sentence

  1. a cabinet made of birch

  2. In those days, schoolchildren got the birch when they misbehaved.

Recent Examples of birch from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'birch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology 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


2

birch

verb

Definition of birch

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

Examples of birch in a Sentence

  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

1808



BIRCH Defined for English Language Learners

birch

play
noun

Definition of birch for English Language Learners

  • : 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


BIRCH Defined for Kids

birch

play
noun \ ˈbərch \

Definition of birch for Students

:a tree with hard wood and a smooth bark that can be peeled off in thin layers


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up birch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

alert quickness of mind or body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!