birch

noun
\ ˈbərch How to pronounce birch (audio) \

Definition of birch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

verb
birched; birching; birches

Definition of birch (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

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

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Other Words from birch

Noun

birch or birchen \ ˈbər-​chən How to pronounce birchen (audio) \ adjective

Examples of birch in a Sentence

Noun a cabinet made of birch In those days, schoolchildren got the birch when they misbehaved. Verb students at the private school were once routinely birched for violating the rules always a stern disciplinarian, our father birched anyone who talked back
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some of the first chewing gums, made of birch tar and other natural substances, have been preserved for thousands of years, including a 5,700-year-old piece of Stone Age gum unearthed in Denmark. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "Human Genome Recovered From 5,700-Year-Old Chewing Gum," 17 Dec. 2019 Recently, the genome of a young girl in modern Denmark was sequenced from a 5,700-year-old piece of birch tar used as chewing gum, which also contained her mouth microbes and bits of food from one of her last meals. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of the Decade," 6 May 2012 Not spearmint gum, mind you, but a decidedly less palatable chunk of black-brown pitch, boiled down from the bark of the birch tree. Matt Simon, Wired, "What a 5,700-Year-Old Piece of Gum Reveals About Its Chewer," 17 Dec. 2019 But an upwards glimpse through birch trees during daytime in fall steals the book. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "5 Alaska children’s books perfect for gifting this holiday season," 23 Nov. 2019 Had enough of all that serene winter wonderland decor, the birch trees and reindeer and sleighs? Washington Post, "Glam holiday décor that gets the party started," 12 Nov. 2019 The scarves are 56-by-72 inches and made of a cashmere and modal blend, with the modal in this case being an organic renewable material that comes from birch trees. Sara Clarkson, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale artist Maureen Claffy now sells her paintings as wearable art," 17 Oct. 2019 The bath looks out into the landscape to the north, with a spectacular birch tree in the foreground. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "The Best Room At ... Troutbeck," 16 Oct. 2019 Anderson pulled to a stop at wooded intersection, the full moon illuminating pale birch trees and distant snowcaps. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "Looking for Alaska’s Rural Police Force? Check the Suburbs.," 5 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of birch

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for birch

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for birch

Time Traveler

The first known use of birch was before the 12th century

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Statistics for birch

Last Updated

9 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Birch.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/birch. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for birch

birch

noun
How to pronounce birch (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of birch

: a type of tree that has outer bark which can be pulled off easily
: the hard, pale wood of the birch
British : the punishment of being hit with a birch stick

birch

noun
\ ˈbərch How to pronounce birch (audio) \

Kids Definition of birch

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on birch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for birch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with birch

Spanish Central: Translation of birch

Nglish: Translation of birch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of birch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about birch

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