any tree of the genus Fagus, of temperate regions, having a smooth gray bark and bearing small, edible, triangular nuts.
Also called beechwood. the wood of such a tree.
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.

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)

beechen, adjective
beechy, adjective

beach, beech. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beech (biːtʃ)
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.  See copper beech
[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 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. bece "beech," from P.Gmc. *bokjon (cf. O.N. bok, Ger. Buche, M.Du. boeke "beech"), from PIE base *bhagos (cf. Gk. phegos "oak," L. fagus "beech," Rus. buzina "elder"), perhaps with a ground sense of "edible" (and connected with the root of Gk. phagein "to eat;" see
-phagous). Beech mast was an ancient food source for agricultural animals across a wide stretch of Europe. See book.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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