- A tree of several species, constituting the genus Betula; as, the white or common birch (Betula alba) (also called silver birch and lady birch); the dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa); the paper or canoe birch (Betula papyracea); the yellow birch (Betula lutea); the black or cherry birch (Betula lenta).
- The wood or timber of the birch.
- A birch twig or birch twigs, used for flogging."The threatening twigs of birch." [Shak.]
- A birch-bark canoe.
Note: ☞ The twigs of the common European birch (B. alba), being tough and slender, were formerly much used for rods in schools. They were also made into brooms.
Etymology: OE. birche birk, AS. birce beorc; akin to Icel. björk, Sw. björk, Dan. birk, D. berk, OHG. piricha, MHG. birche birke, G. birke, Russ. bereza, Pol. brzoza, Serv. breza, Skr. bhūrja. √254. Cf. 1st Birk