a. Any of various deciduous trees or shrubs of the genus Betula, native to the Northern Hemisphere and having unisexual flowers in catkins, alternate, simple, toothed leaves, and bark that often peels in thin papery layers.
b. The hard, close-grained wood of any of these trees, used especially in furniture, interior finishes, and plywood.
2. A rod from a birch, used to administer a whipping.
tr.v. birched, birch·ing, birch·es
To whip with or as if with a birch.
[Middle English, from Old English birce; see bherəg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)birch
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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