hornbeam

[hawrn-beem]
noun
any North American shrub or tree belonging to the genus Carpinus, of the birch family, yielding a hard, heavy wood, as C. caroliniana (American hornbeam)

Origin:
1570–80; horn + beam

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World English Dictionary
hornbeam (ˈhɔːnˌbiːm)
 
n
1.  any tree of the betulaceous genus Carpinus, such as C. betulus of Europe and Asia, having smooth grey bark and hard white wood
2.  the wood of any of these trees
 
[C14: from horn + beam, referring to its tough wood]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

hornbeam

any of about 25 species of hardy, slow-growing ornamental and timber trees constituting the genus Carpinus of the birch family (Betulaceae), distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The hop-hornbeam (q.v.) is in a different genus of the birch family. A hornbeam has smooth, grayish bark, a short, fluted trunk, and horizontally spreading branches. It differs from other trees in the birch family in that male catkins are not formed until the spring in which they mature. A leaflike, three-lobed husk surrounds each fruit, a nutlet about 1 cm (12 inch) long. The egg- or lance-shaped alternate leaves may remain on the tree into winter.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Water oak and hop hornbeam are found in low areas and uplands.
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