branch

noun, often attributive
\ ˈbranch How to pronounce branch (audio) \

Definition of branch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 botany : a natural subdivision of a plant stem especially : a secondary shoot or stem (such as a bough) arising from a main axis (as of a tree) pruning the tree's lower branches a swing mounted on a tree branch
2 : something that extends from or enters into a main body or source: such as
a(1) : a stream that flows into another usually larger stream : tributary the river's smaller branches
(2) Southern & Midland : creek sense 1
b : a side road or way the railroad's branch line
c : a slender projection (such as the tine of an antler) the branches of a menorah
d mathematics : a distinctive part of a mathematical curve (see curve entry 3 sense 1a(2))
e computers : a part of a computer program executed as a result of a program decision
3 : a part of a complex body: such as
a : a division of a family descending from a particular ancestor the Iranian branch of the family
b : an area of knowledge that may be considered apart from related areas orthopedics and other branches of medicine syntax is a branch of linguistics
c(1) : a division of an organization a branch of the armed services the government's legislative and executive branches
(2) : a separate but dependent part of a central organization the neighborhood branch of the city library
d linguistics : a language group less inclusive than a family (see family entry 1 sense 5c) the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family

branch

verb
branched; branching; branches

Definition of branch (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 botany : to put forth secondary shoots or stems : to put forth branches (see branch entry 1 sense 1) : ramify an elm branching out over the rooftop
2 : to extend in different directions from a main part or point : to spring out (as from a main stem) : diverge where the spring branches off from the river
3 : to develop or derive from a source : to be an outgrowth used with from poetry that branched from religious prose
4 : to extend activities usually used with out the business is branching out into formal wear
5 computers : to follow one of two or more parts of a computer program executed as a result of a program decision : to follow one of two or more branches (see branch entry 1 sense 2e)

transitive verb

1 : to ornament with designs of branches (see branch entry 1 sense 1) branched velvet
2 : to divide up : section

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Other Words from branch

Noun

branched \ ˈbrancht How to pronounce branched (audio) \ adjective
branchless \ ˈbranch-​ləs How to pronounce branchless (audio) \ adjective
branchy \ ˈbran-​chē How to pronounce branchy (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for branch

Synonyms: Noun

bough, limb

Synonyms: Verb

fan (out), radiate, ray

Antonyms: Verb

concentrate, converge, focus, funnel, meet

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Examples of branch in a Sentence

Noun

birds singing from the branches of a tree The bank has a new branch in our area. She works at the branch office downtown.

Verb

The stream branches from the river near their house. threads branched from the center of the spider web
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These fractals variously call to mind leaf capillaries, fanning branches of coral, and fluttering feathers. Harper's BAZAAR, "Daniel Humm & Givenchy," 9 Apr. 2019 The Queen's granddaughter Princess Eugenie is currently a direct at the gallery's London branch. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Visit to Somerset Today Has a Special Tie to Her Granddaughter Princess Eugenie," 28 Mar. 2019 People can make donations online or at a Fifth Third bank branch. Fox News, "Officers who killed gunman in Cincinnati hailed as heroes," 14 Sep. 2018 Painting sessions are planned at several library branches; details and registration are available on the library’s website hcplonline.org. Staff Report, The Aegis, "Harford's new Choose Civility campaign announces several summertime fun events," 9 July 2018 Others are angry that more than two years into Republican control of all three branches of the federal government, Planned Parenthood still hasn’t been fully defunded. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Fox News demanded a government shutdown — and got one," 22 Dec. 2018 Drivers heading north on I-5, just before the James Street exit sign, can catch a fleeting glimpse of its graceful, broad-rounded crown of branches that sweep downward to the ground. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "‘It has a story to tell’: How a descendant of Napoleon’s willow tree took root on a Seattle hillside," 30 Oct. 2018 Collect from the tops of the branches, cutting off several inches. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Basil for Your Best Pesto Yet," 20 Aug. 2018 Sprint's offer is available to active duty, reserve and veterans of all branches of the military. Eli Blumenthal, USA TODAY, "Sprint's new unlimited plans add choice-- and an option for Tidal," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Before branching into Kohl's, the sisters had previously worked with JcPenney on a clothing line in 2009, WWD reports. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Elizabeth and James Line Is Coming to Kohl’s," 11 Apr. 2019 Initially operating as an online retailer, the company has branched out into brick-and-mortar stores, its newest one opening in the Town Center Crossing shopping center in Leawood this September. Tuft & Needle, kansascity, "'Mattress Stores Are Greedy,' Except For This One (Sponsored) | The Kansas City Star," 14 May 2018 The polo club includes about 35 members and five volunteers from Maryland, Washington and Pennsylvania, starting from age 11, then branching off to award-winning high school and collegiate players, to retired adults in their 70s. Brittany Britto, baltimoresun.com, "Saddle up: Maryland Polo Club celebrates 'sport of kings' with weekly matches, lively BritFest," 5 June 2018 Getty ImagesJoe Scarnici Jenna Dewan continues to branch out into new territory. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Is Giving Us Her Best Lifestyle Tips In New Book 'Gracefully You'," 6 Feb. 2019 In order to capture the attention of the community’s Gen Z audience, the developer decided to branch into fashion and style — a shakeup from more traditional jobs like business or military tracks. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "The Sims 4 will soon let you live out your influencer dreams," 18 Oct. 2018 Between a global market hungry for those select hits and government incentives to keep productions local, there wasn't much motivation for Latin American entertainment to branch out. Lexi Pandell, WIRED, "Meet Germán Garmendia, the Aggressively Normal YouTube Superstar Who Wants It All," 8 June 2018 Sour beer has shot up in popularity in the U.S. over the last few years, becoming an enticing beverage to people looking to branch out their beer palates or to those wanting to try something new. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "How to Talk About Beer Like a Pro on National Beer Day," 7 Apr. 2018 Apparently Sami-Karim gets Ali to branch out sartorially. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Mahershala Ali's Wife Amatus Sami-Karim? The Couple Are Both Artists," 23 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'branch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of branch

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for branch

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French branche, from Late Latin branca paw

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Statistics for branch

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for branch

The first known use of branch was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for branch

branch

noun

English Language Learners Definition of branch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk
: a local office or shop of a company or organization
: a major part of a government

branch

verb

English Language Learners Definition of branch (Entry 2 of 2)

: to divide into smaller parts : to separate into branches

branch

noun
\ ˈbranch How to pronounce branch (audio) \

Kids Definition of branch

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk or from a main division of the trunk
2 : something extending from a main line or body like a branch a branch of a railroad
3 : a division or subordinate part of something a branch of government The bank opened a new branch.

Other Words from branch

branched \ ˈbrancht \ adjective

branch

verb
branched; branching

Kids Definition of branch (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spread or divide into smaller or attached parts : send out a branch It was a long corridor and it branched into other corridors …— Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

branch

noun
\ ˈbranch How to pronounce branch (audio) \

Medical Definition of branch

1 : something that extends from or enters into a main body or source a branch of an artery
2 : an area of knowledge that may be considered apart from related areas pathology is a branch of medicine

Other Words from branch

branch intransitive verb
branched \ ˈbrancht How to pronounce branched (audio) \ adjective

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branch

noun

Legal Definition of branch

: a part of a complex body: as
a : one of the three main divisions of the U.S. or a state government — see also executive, judiciary, legislature
b : a division of a business or organization an insurer's branch office — see also branch bank at bank

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More from Merriam-Webster on branch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with branch

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for branch

Spanish Central: Translation of branch

Nglish: Translation of branch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of branch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about branch

Comments on branch

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