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

City Light said at about 11 a.m. that the outage was caused when a tree branch fell on a pair of powerlines. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Power restored to 6,700 in Capitol Hill after outage," 9 Sep. 2019 Polished wooden handrails were inspired by a restroom in Kyoto that had a tree branch growing out of the wall, and the Toto Neorest toilet, imported from Japan, has a heated seat and panel of buttons that rivals a Tesla’s dashboard. Fortune, "Philadelphia’s Swank New Omakase Restaurant Is Elevated in Every Aspect," 8 Sep. 2019 The tradition of adding candles to the tree branches is most commonly attributed to Martin Luther, leader of the Protestant Reformation movement in the 1500s. Country Living, "The History of the Christmas Tree Goes Back Farther Than You Might Realize," 4 Sep. 2019 Sixty-year-old Tom Tuong, the store’s owner, photographer and only full-time worker, unfurled a cheerful backdrop printed with a rainbow and leafy tree branches. Los Angeles Times, "Kacey Musgraves and Tom’s One Hour Photo: The whole story," 31 Aug. 2019 When the sun shines through a south-facing window, shadows on the floor look like tree branches, Luther said. Jesse Leavenworth, courant.com, "Manchester school board tours newly renovated, expanded Verplanck Elementary School," 26 Aug. 2019 Not Dead is an ink drawing on paper of a winking black woman with a tree branch through her heart and strange fruits and blood on the leaves. Dallas News, "A Dallas art gallery examines identity in 'How It Looks To Be You In Egyptian Cotton'," 23 Aug. 2019 In the pouring rain, hidden under a large tree branch was a mound of dirt. CBS News, "Blaze Bernstein murder: Was an Ivy League student slain in the name of hate?," 20 July 2019 Obstacles, such as window panes or tree branches, can degrade performance. Julio Ojeda-zapata, Twin Cities, "Broadband on the go: Verizon turns on speedy 5G service in parts of St. Paul," 18 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Biderman advises for any young chef thinking of branching out on their own. Fortune, "Why the Most Successful Chefs and Restaurateurs Are Thankful for Their Failures," 14 Sep. 2019 Whether the kids branch out and try something new or mom and dad end up eating all of the peppers, everybody goes to bed with a full belly. 1. Karoline Boehm Goodnick, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipe: Change up your taco night routine with this spicy pork tucked into corn tortillas," 3 Sep. 2019 The elder LeBlanc started out in the prison industry as an architect, but branched into other services and once was an owner of a large private prison company. Washington Post, "4 Louisiana men to plead guilty in Mississippi bribe scheme," 18 Aug. 2019 Matthys said the orchestra has been branching out and reaching out to people around North County, not just Poway, and often draws its audiences from Rancho Bernardo and 4S Ranch as well as Poway. Emily Sorensen, Pomerado News, "Poway Symphony Orchestra holding fundraiser Aug. 22," 14 Aug. 2019 Just 2% of the ocean floor is filled with coral, but the branching structures — shaped like everything from reindeer antlers to human brains — sustain a quarter of all marine species. Washington Post, "Surprise rescue of Jamaica coral reefs shows nature can heal," 17 Sep. 2019 This challenges the long and widely-held view that Lucy’s species evolved gradually from A. anamensis without branching of the evolutionary line – a process known as anagenesis. Hester Hanegraef, Quartz Africa, "The skull of humanity’s oldest known ancestor is changing our understanding of evolution," 7 Sep. 2019 His idea was that, although life is somewhat branched, there is direction in evolution, a progression toward greater cognitive complexity and, ultimately, to identification with the divine, that is, God. Quentin Wheeler, Quartz, "That popular monkey-to-man chart gets evolution all wrong," 4 Sep. 2019 His idea was that, although life is somewhat branched, there is direction in evolution, a progression toward greater cognitive complexity and, ultimately, to identification with the divine, that is, God. Antonio G. Valdecasas, The Conversation, "Evolution doesn’t proceed in a straight line – so why draw it that way?," 3 Sep. 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

17 Oct 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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to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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