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, feeder, 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

Amnesty International started an area branch in November, and Human Rights Watch opened a Silicon Valley office in 2016. Joseph Menn, The Christian Science Monitor, "Silicon Valley employees increasingly push companies on ethics," 13 July 2018 The Milton Marketplace has been in its current location since the early 1980s and houses the Fruit Center specialty grocery, which has a branch in Hingham. Johanna Seltz, BostonGlobe.com, "Milton Marketplace wins zoning approval for addition," 12 July 2018 As part of the district's partnership with Kohler Credit Union (KCU), which opened a branch in Homestead High School in January, the district will receive $150,000 in donations from KCU over the next 15 years. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New $65,000 bleachers at Homestead will include premium seats with cup holders and personalized name plates," 10 July 2018 Coll opened a branch in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, and the concept soon spread to other cities as followers and admirers started their own Revitalization Corps chapters. Amy Crawford, Smithsonian, "Racism Kept Connecticut’s Beaches White Up Through the 1970s," 2 July 2018 Another statue honoring former newspaper editor George D. Prentice was also splashed with orange paint this year outside the Louisville library's main branch in downtown. Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal, "Swifties, statues and WWE: What you missed in Louisville this weekend," 2 July 2018 Police are asking for help identifying a man in a straw hat who robbed a Golden 1 Credit Union branch in Elk Grove on Wednesday. Anna Buchmann, sacbee, "A man in a straw hat robbed an Elk Grove bank, police say – can you help identify him?," 28 June 2018 Chicopee Police Department This time, on June 25, the man was hauling a gigantic load of leafy branches in the back of the pickup. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Teetering chairs got driver pulled over. His next load really went out on a limb, Mass. cops say," 25 June 2018 The Emiratis have retaken Aden from the Houthis and Mukalla from al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen. The Economist, "Insecurity complexGulf states fear being encircled by Iran and abandoned by America," 21 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

About half the game is a visual novel, with branching dialogue and a strong emphasis on character and mood. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Extreme Meatpunks Forever," 11 July 2018 This sweeping design carries over to the interior of the property, with a central living room under an arched ceiling and winding staircases that branch off to bedrooms and common spaces scattered across three stories. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Sculptural steel home built into a 19th-century railway bridge wants $1.4M," 9 July 2018 After branching out to Dallas, Rodeo Goat is now next to Truck Yard in the East Village development and, just like in DFW, the burgers come with a generous side order of humor. Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle, "Let’s Go, EaDo: What to check out on Houston’s changing east side," 14 June 2018 That nerve originates at the brainstem then branches out across the face. Neil Steinberg, CNN, "How far would you go to be able to smile?," 13 June 2018 On the other hand, many of the surviving corals are much simpler in terms of their physical structure than their faster-growing counterparts, which were notable for their complex, branching 3-D designs. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Recent Ocean Heat Waves Have ‘Forever’ Altered Great Barrier Reef," 19 Apr. 2018 Lululemon and Free People, a bohemian line popular with yogis, have both branched into wellness tourism. Kelli Kennedy, chicagotribune.com, "From celeb trainer workouts to cruises, 'wellness travel' is booming - and bringing in big money," 7 June 2018 Once Dream Tacos gets some time under its belt, Jenni said the kitchen will branch out with daily specials that will include dishes such as enchiladas, tamales and chilaquiles. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "First look: Dream Tacos TX," 7 June 2018 Even if Lesnar drops the belt in August, there is an opportunity right now to branch out with talent that would be first-time champions. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The Week in Wrestling: Why Brock Lesnar’s Absence Is Such a Big Problem for Raw," 6 June 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

19 Sep 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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