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

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

Branch Out with Lights Instead of haphazardly winding a few strings of lights around your tree, take the time to individually wrap each branch from trunk to tip and then back again. Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "How Designer Scot Meacham Wood Decorates His Home For Christmas," 19 Dec. 2018 Eventually, rustling ball gowns and trim tuxedos found their way to the dinner space, dressed in winter whites with branch-laden clusters for table arrangements—guests might have felt as though they had just stepped into a snow globe. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The New York Botanical Garden Hosts Its 20th Annual Winter Wonderland Ball," 17 Dec. 2018 Marines often use these four-digit codes to identify what often amounts to sub-tribes within the Corps, particularly the combat arms branches. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Military’s Cryptic Letters, Numbers, and Symbols, Explained," 6 Dec. 2018 Kappa Kappa Gamma's national branch told Yahoo Lifestyle that the sorority has reached out to the members accused of the racist behavior. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "A University of New Mexico Sorority Is Under Investigation After Racist Comments Were Allegedly Made at a Campus Event," 25 Sep. 2018 Other network branches airing the esport include ESPN2, ESPNEWS and online on ESPN3. Daniel Wilson, sacbee, "Video game ‘Overwatch’ airing live on cable TV starting Wednesday evening," 11 July 2018 Instead, Jenkins said, Boise and the neighborhoods ought to encourage development that's attractive to lower-income families, such as a small branch library, possibly surrounded by commercial and residential components. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "A 60-year-old fuel terminal could leave Boise’s Bench. Here’s what could replace it.," 11 July 2018 The winds can blow things like sheet metal or Mylar balloons or tree branches against the power lines. Gary Robbins, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Wildfires: The scourge known as the Santa Ana winds," 8 July 2018 Since the O'Malia closed, Regal Dry Cleaners and a PNC bank branch have left the shopping center, and those spaces remain vacant. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel seeks to solve surprising problem: city has no grocery stores on its east side," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Chrissy's in really good company: all of the top performers have branched out in their careers in various ways to include partnerships, acting, clothing lines, and other forms of branding. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Author, Cook, Mom, Wife Chrissy Teigen Is Also One of the Highest Paid Models," 14 Dec. 2018 Thomas branched out to collaborate with romantic partners, friends and trans women, always capturing something both theatrical and intensely real. Gayle Clemans, The Seattle Times, "‘MUSE’ offers a look at painter Mickalene Thomas’ photography — and at the artist herself," 23 Aug. 2018 Workers dug trenches on the foundry floor that branched out from a long central channel, making space for the liquid iron to flow. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Goldman’s bankers have been branching out in their investing. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "Goldman Sachs Bankers Moonlight as Venture Capitalists," 17 June 2018 When food is nearby, the plasmodium forms a network of slender tubules that branch out in search of it, eventually finding the optimal path. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "What slime molds can teach us about thinking," 12 Apr. 2018 Investigators found Khafra's charred body in the basement, where a hole in the concrete floor led to a shaft that dropped down 20 feet (6 meters) into tunnels that branched out roughly 200 feet (60 meters) in length. Michael Kunzelman, Fox News, "Man sued over deadly fire in secret tunnels under his home," 13 Sep. 2018 Right, there’s a lot of people branching into wellness. Eric Johnson, Recode, "The internet’s favorite Goop critic Dr. Jen Gunter says ‘medical conspiracy theories’ are running amok online," 20 Aug. 2018 Best known for its customer-management technology, Salesforce has been branching into other sectors through acquisitions. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "Backlog and Revenue Growth Power Salesforce Results," 27 Nov. 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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for branch

Last Updated

10 Jan 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 \

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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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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