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

Here, the couple stores two 300-gallon water cisterns tucked under a weeping birch tree and plants more than 500 square feet of garden beds with vegetables and flowers. Amy Pennington, The Seattle Times, "A couple’s Rainier Beach garden is a place of creativity, vision and function," 19 May 2019 In 2007, a boy in Finland found chewing gum made from birch bark that was 5,000 years old. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Turns Out You Can Learn a Lot from 10,000-Year-Old Chewing Gum," 16 May 2019 Restoration consists of planting native oak and birch trees, cutting down nonnative Sitka spruce, building walking paths and trying to attract native wildlife like red squirrels, osprey and Scottish wildcats, Rossiter said. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Want to be a Scottish lord or lady? Opportunity beckons at suburban festival, where 'titles' will be sold," 16 June 2018 The couple put grape vines on the trellises that Mr. Jakobsen fashioned from birch trees on the property. J. S. Marcus, WSJ, "The House that Brought Two Retiree Lovers Together," 9 Oct. 2018 The leaves on the birch tell the Alaskan gardener (and any other who happens to learn our trick) that there won't be any more frosts for a while. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Resist the temptation to rake your lawn right now — you’ll be thankful later," 27 Apr. 2018 The result was exquisitely made pieces that were as celebrated as much for their quality as for their simplified, modern forms — think Hans Wegner’s Wishbone Chair or Alvar Aalto’s gently curving birch-and-beech wood chair. Hillary Brown, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Mid-Century Modern Design," 13 Sep. 2018 Adventurous types have made syrup from spruce, birch, and walnut, but no guarantees on taste. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make Maple Syrup," 5 Nov. 2018 Some seeds, like those of birches, waft on the wind; others, like the pigeon pea, are floaters that drift, raftlike, to other continents. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "These seeds will captivate you whether you’re a gardener or not," 22 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for birch

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for birch

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

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More Definitions for birch

birch

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with birch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on birch

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