branch

noun, often attributive
\ˈbranch \

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 \ adjective
branchless \ ˈbranch-​ləs \ adjective
branchy \ ˈbran-​chē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for branch

Synonyms: Noun

affluent, bayou, confluent, feeder, influent, tributary

Synonyms: Verb

fan (out), radiate, ray

Antonyms: Noun

distributary, effluent

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

For integer workloads, branch prediction and prefetching have been made more accurate and some caches enlarged. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "AMD outlines its future: 7nm GPUs with PCIe 4, Zen 2, Zen 3, Zen 4," 6 Nov. 2018 Interestingly, though, the vagus nerve branches out all over the body and passes directly by the cervix, Dr. Streicher says. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Kristen Bell Fainted While Trying to Remove a Menstrual Cup," 1 Nov. 2018 Republicans point out the amendments would outlast current political players and dynamics and in some cases simply rebalance powers between government branches. Gary D. Robertson, The Seattle Times, "North Carolina amendments could cement GOP agenda in place," 30 Oct. 2018 Women have served since the RAF's founding year, but until 1994, they were relegated to a separate women's branch. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Just Unveiled a New Portrait in Honor of the Royal Air Force's 100th Anniversary," 17 Oct. 2018 The women use bunches of dried rock-rose branches to light a fast-burning fire in the oven, and the fragrant smoke that fills the courtyard will let everyone in town know that someone is baking bread today. Kyre Chenven, Condé Nast Traveler, "For Sardinia’s Wild Side, Head to Sulcis," 12 Oct. 2018 Some are flat, with visible branch-like arms, some are hexagonal prisms, and others look like hollow columns. Discover Magazine, "The Great Snow of Beaver Creek," 3 Oct. 2018 Mark Hill Hill’s suggested solutions included isolating the branch prediction element, adding randomization, and implementing better hardware protections. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Solving Spectre and Meltdown may ultimately require an entirely new type of processor," 21 Aug. 2018 Poke hole in bottom of squash with small carving knife, then insert small branch with leaves. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There's disciplined use of branching to try to make merges easy and predictable. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Microsoft’s problem isn’t how often it updates Windows—it’s how it develops it," 20 Oct. 2018 Any sign tonight that this -- the search for Mollie is branching out? Fox News, "Father of missing Iowa college student speaks out," 31 July 2018 Spreading Devastation Speeding into a channel branching off Baptiste Collette Bayou, Eric Newman, a fishing guide, suddenly throttled back on his boat's engine and removed his sunglasses. Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com, "Army Corps starting levee patrols as Mississippi River rises," 26 Feb. 2018 Following our moniker of the City of Trees, individuals and businesses are both putting down roots and branching out. Alison Johnson, idahostatesman, "We can get better as we get bigger, Boise, by supporting new generation of business and talent," 20 June 2018 The organization wanted to branch out to establish a large-scale cocaine distribution chain, and Aguirre-Rodriguez began negotiating on behalf of the organization with Colombian cocaine suppliers. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Drug trafficker who flooded metro Atlanta with $1.75M of meth per week gets prison time," 1 June 2018 Hulu, meanwhile, has been branching out beyond its scripted TV focus with a Fyre Festival docuseries developed by Billboard (a sister company to The Hollywood Reporter) and documentariy films Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie and Becoming Bond. Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "R. Kelly Documentary From BuzzFeed In Development at Hulu," 24 May 2018 In 1997, the organization branched out from existing solely as a police-staffed tip line to offering educational presentations to middle and high school students. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Houston’s Crime Stoppers taps victim advocate Andy Kahan to lead new program," 21 June 2018 Would Miller Lite ever branch into flavors like the Bud Light Orange — A: Never. Greg Trotter, chicagotribune.com, "Miller Lite exec sees room for growth in flagging light beer industry," 29 May 2018

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

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

Verb

see branch entry 1

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Statistics for branch

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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 \ 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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Comments on branch

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