From Middle English birche, birk, from Old English birċe, bierċe, from Proto-Germanic *birkijǭ (compare West Frisian bjirk, German Birke), variant of *berkō (compare Dutch berk, Swedish björk, Norwegian bjørk), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰerHǵs, *bʰérHǵos (compare Lithuanian béržas, Czech bříza, Ossetian бӕрз (bærz), Russian берёза (berjóza)). Compare distant cognate Latin fraxinus (“ash tree, ash javelin”).
- (General American) enPR: bû(r)ch, IPA(key): /bɝtʃ/
- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: bû(r)ch, IPA(key): /bɜːtʃ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)tʃ
birch (plural birches)
- Any of various trees of the genus Betula, native to countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
- A hard wood taken from the birch tree, typically used to make furniture.
- A stick, rod or bundle of twigs made from birch wood, used for punishment.
- A birch-bark canoe.
- to punish with a stick, bundle of twigs, or rod made of birch wood.
- to punish as though one were using a stick, bundle of twigs, or rod made of birch wood.