birch

1 of 2

noun

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 adjective
or birchen

birch

2 of 2

verb

birched; birching; birches

transitive verb

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Top of the Rock’s Osage Restaurant features a rotunda dining room with birch tree beams and bark on the ceiling. Sarah Gish, Kansas City Star, 24 Jan. 2024 The silhouette is minimalist, but the table comes in six finish options, including a very light Canadian birch, a warm American walnut, and a modern smoked hickory. Paige Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Nov. 2023 The second type, tucked away in a pouch around his neck, was birch polypores. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 28 Nov. 2023 For this representation, greenery and candies decorate a birch log or similar wood. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 28 Oct. 2023 The Duboce Triangle Table from Dot & Bo is also a conversation piece, with its sculptured solid birch legs and thick glass tabletop. Charlotte Observer, 1 Feb. 2024 Its unique mix of patchouli, birch, and vanilla is not the everyday scent. Jose Ryller, Rolling Stone, 1 Dec. 2023 Keep an eye out for woods that are especially sturdy and stiff, such as oak, birch, and maple. Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Nov. 2023 The timberlands here are rich and varied: maple, oak, beech, birch, mountain ash, and the placer gold of timber, red spruce, prized by the lumber mills for its grain, strength, and beauty. Mark Orwoll, Travel + Leisure, 5 Oct. 2023
Verb
Find yellow aspen and birch along the shoreline and red maples inland. Kerri Westenberg, Star Tribune, 11 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'birch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1808, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near birch

Cite this Entry

“Birch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/birch. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

birch

1 of 2 noun
1
: any of a genus of trees or shrubs with typically an outer bark that peels easily in thin layers and leaves that are shed each fall
also : its hard pale close-grained wood
2
: a birch rod or bundle of twigs used as a whip
birch adjective
or birchen

birch

2 of 2 verb
: to whip with or as if with a birch

More from Merriam-Webster on birch

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