Birch, v. t. [imp. & p. p.
Birched (bẽrcht); p. pr. & vb. n.
Birching.] To whip with a birch rod or twig; to flog.
Birch, a. Of or pertaining to the birch;
Birch (bẽrch), n.; pl.
Birches (-ĕz). [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.] 1. A tree of several
species, constituting the genus Betula; as, the white or common
birch (B. alba) (also called silver birch and lady birch); the dwarf
birch (B. glandulosa); the paper or canoe birch (B.
papyracea); the yellow birch (B. lutea); the black or cherry
birch (B. lenta).
2. The wood or timber of the birch.
3. A birch twig or birch twigs, used for
☞ 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
The threatening twigs of birch.
4. A birch-bark canoe.
Birch of Jamaica, a species (Bursera
gummifera) of turpentine tree. -- Birch
partridge. (Zoöl.) See Ruffed grouse.
-- Birch wine, wine made of the spring sap of the
birch. -- Oil of birch. (a) An
oil obtained from the bark of the common European birch (Betula
alba), and used in the preparation of genuine (and sometimes of the
imitation) Russia leather, to which it gives its peculiar odor.
(b) An oil prepared from the black birch (B.
lenta), said to be identical with the oil of wintergreen, for which it
is largely sold.