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beech

[beech] /bitʃ/
noun
1.
any tree of the genus Fagus, of temperate regions, having a smooth gray bark and bearing small, edible, triangular nuts.
2.
Also called beechwood. the wood of such a tree.
3.
any member of the plant family Fagaceae, characterized by trees and shrubs having alternate, usually toothed or lobed leaves, male flowers in catkins and female flowers either solitary or in clusters and bearing a nut enclosed in a cupule or bur, including the beeches, chestnuts, and oaks.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English beche, Old English bēce < Germanic *bōkjōn-; akin to Old Saxon, Middle Low German boke, Dutch beuk, Old High German buohha (German Buche), Old Norse bōk, Latin fāgus beech, Doric Greek phāgós, Albanian bung oak (apparently not akin to book)
Related forms
beechen, adjective
beechy, adjective
Can be confused
beach, beech.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for beech
  • The log is usually a block of oak, but sometimes of olive or beech.
  • If you come to my city, get your picture taken with the oldest copper beech tree in the state.
  • Constructed of local stone and beech right from the surroundings.
  • Also, beech pulp is used as the basis for manufacturing a textile fibre known as modal.
British Dictionary definitions for beech

beech

/biːtʃ/
noun
1.
any N temperate tree of the genus Fagus, esp F. sylvatica of Europe, having smooth greyish bark: family Fagaceae
2.
any tree of the related genus Nothofagus, of temperate Australasia and South America
3.
the hard wood of any of these trees, used in making furniture, etc
4.
Derived Forms
beechen, beechy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English bēce; related to Old Norse bók, Old High German buohha, Middle Dutch boeke, Latin fāgus beech, Greek phēgos edible oak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for beech
n.

Old English bece "beech," from Proto-Germanic *bokjon (cf. Old Norse bok, Dutch beuk, Flemish boek, Old High German buohha, German Buche, Middle Dutch boeke "beech"), from PIE root *bhagos "beech tree" (cf. Greek phegos "oak," Latin fagus "beech," Russian buzina "elder"), perhaps with a ground sense of "edible" (and connected with the root of Greek phagein "to eat;" see -phagous). Beech mast was an ancient food source for agricultural animals across a wide stretch of Europe. Formerly with adjectival form beechen. Also see book.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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