Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deciduous tree of the genus Fagus having smooth gray bark, alternate simple leaves, and three-angled nuts enclosed in prickly burs. The best-known species are F. grandifolia of eastern North America and the European species F. sylvatica and its numerous cultivated forms.
  • n. The wood of any of these trees, used for flooring, containers, plywood, and tool handles.
  • n. Any of several other woody plants, as in the genera Carpinus and Nothofagus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tree of the genus Fagus having a smooth, light grey trunk, oval, pointed leaves and many branches.
  • n. The wood of the beech tree.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tree of the genus Fagus.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tree of the genus Fagus, natural order Cupuliferœ.
  • n. Obsolete spelling of beach.
  • n. Any one of several trees of different genera having a real or fancied resemblance to the true beeches; especially, Cryptocarya glaucescens, of the laurel family. Also called she-beech and black beech.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several large deciduous trees with rounded spreading crowns and smooth grey bark and small sweet edible triangular nuts enclosed in burs; north temperate regions
  • n. wood of any of various beech trees; used for flooring and containers and plywood and tool handles

Etymologies

Middle English beche, from Old English bēce.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English beche, from Old English bēċe, from Proto-Germanic *bōkijōn (compare Dutch beuk, German Buche, Danish bøg), from Proto-Germanic *bōks 'beech; book'. More at book. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The PLUS mills are made in beech wood and come in 3 versions; a white salt, a black peppermill and a multicoloured version that has both the salt and pepper option.

    The PLUS Salt and Pepper Mills by Norway Says

  • The nearest Japanese site is Shirakami-Sanchi in the far north of Honshu which preserves the last virgin Japanese beech forest and the vulnerable Japanese black bear but is not at all comparable in richness of species except for insects.

    Shiretoko, Japan

  • Apparently it comes from “beech” as in beech tree because the Saxons and Germans usually wrote runes on pieces of beechen board.

    Two Things « So Many Books

  • The whole long range of hills was clad in beech woods, and beautiful, turreted castles peeped out here and there.

    Further Adventures of Nils

  • The bark of the beech is clear and smooth, as though nature had intended it for the use to which it has so often been applied by lovers – to carve on it a fair one's name.

    The Lady's Country Companion: or, How to Enjoy a Country Life Rationally

  • It's also from a tree word, "bōc", which is similar to the Slavic words for "beech" -- probably the kind of tree most often used as a surface to carve or write words.

    Archive 2009-06-24

  • Young trees are frequently found growing upon these forest ruins; if a giant pine or oak has been levelled by some storm, the mass of matted roots and earth will stand upright for years in the same position into which it was raised by the falling trunk, and occasionally a good-sized hemlock, or pine, or beech, is seen growing from the summit of the mass, which in itself is perhaps ten or twelve feet high.

    Rural Hours

  • a native porphyritic green stone called beech-bowlder.

    Customs and Fashions in Old New England

  • But a beech is a spindly thing compared to an oak.

    The Lampshade

  • The bow used by them is made of the wood of the Antarctic beech, which is scraped and worked into the desired shape by the sharp edge of one of the numerous shells which everywhere are found on the beach.

    The Giant Indians of Tierra Del Fuego

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