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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.
Historical Examples

He windeth a wreath of the beechen tree, Lest men her shining shoulders see.
Poems by the Way William Morris

The essence of clover and grass and dandelions and beechen woods is here.
Our Friend John Burroughs Clara Barrus

Diomede obeyed, and the beechen axle groaned beneath the weight of the hero and the goddess.
Stories from the Iliad H. L. Havell

The red-bird flutters lower down in the coppice of green pawpaws, or amidst the amber leaflets of the beechen thicket.
The Scalp Hunters Mayne Reid

His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath, Seem’d like a poll of ivy in the teeth160 Of winter hoar.
Endymion John Keats

beechen frames are best, and the seat formed of rather closely-woven canvas fixed at top and bottom and hanging in a curve.
The Turkish Bath Robert Owen Allsop

A beechen bowl was filled with warm water, that their guests might wash.
The Classic Myths in English Literature and in Art (2nd ed.) (1911) Charles Mills Gayley

Piles of pine and beechen boards were heaped around them, and the sawyers were busily plying their lonely business.
The Lands of the Saracen Bayard Taylor

beechen bowls, curiously carved, were highly prized by the ancient shepherds.
Woodland Gleanings Charles Tilt

I dwelt with rapture on the piny hills of Phrygia, on the gorges of Taurus, on the beechen solitudes of Olympus.
The Lands of the Saracen Bayard Taylor

any N temperate tree of the genus Fagus, esp F. sylvatica of Europe, having smooth greyish bark: family Fagaceae
any tree of the related genus Nothofagus, of temperate Australasia and South America
the hard wood of any of these trees, used in making furniture, etc
See copper beech

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.


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