branch

1 of 2

noun

often attributive
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 US and Midland US : 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
branched adjective
branchless adjective
branchy adjective

branch

2 of 2

verb

branched; branching; branches

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Even some staffers at the Office of Federal Student Aid, the branch of the Education Department that administers the FAFSA, were miffed at their bosses’ handling of the rollout, two agency officials not authorized to speak publicly told USA TODAY. Zachary Schermele, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2024 Look for interesting branches and berries as well as flowers to add color and fullness to your display. Jeanette Marantos, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2024 Paper forms can also be found at township trustee offices and at branches of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Katie Wiseman, The Indianapolis Star, 1 Apr. 2024 Communities with a University of Wisconsin System branch campus that closes can receive up to $2 million for redevelopment purposes. Kelly Meyerhofer, Journal Sentinel, 1 Apr. 2024 But many survived the natural and temporal forces arrayed against them to remain on the trees and branches for a third Sunday. Martin Weil, Washington Post, 1 Apr. 2024 This article was initially published in HR Brew, a branch of Morning Brew. Kristen Parisi, Fortune, 30 Mar. 2024 Some Wells Fargo branches will be open on Sunday, March 31. Haadiza Ogwude, The Enquirer, 29 Mar. 2024 Finding more early forms of amphibious life is essential for building out the early branches of the amphibian family tree. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 21 Mar. 2024
Verb
The principal type of neuron in the cerebellum, called the Purkinje cell, is widely branching like a fan coral, yet flattened and nearly two-dimensional. R Douglas Fields, WIRED, 31 Mar. 2024 So Medieval Blue Bendy have spent years bubbling in London’s indie undercurrents, taking their time to branch away from monologue-rock towards witty indie-pop chronicles that are as indebted to Broadcast and Destroyer as Dry Cleaning or Black Country, New Road. Madison Bloom, Pitchfork, 19 Mar. 2024 Within a few years, the creator branched into more art of celebrities, like Stevie Wonder, Meatloaf, Prince and even Betty White, to sell for charity, and eventually commissioned portraits of families and pets. Kylie Martin, Detroit Free Press, 7 Mar. 2024 Since then, Improbable’s M2 network has also branched into other sports, creating metaverses that act as a kind of meet-and-greet for fans and professional athletes, such as Arsenal Football Club’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. Sarah Valenzuela, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2023 Assembly Some hanging baskets come pre-assembled, while others require you to arrange the flower stems or branches yourself. Lee Alisha Williams, Southern Living, 18 Sep. 2023 He’s held several positions since, forming his own marketing group, serving on several committees and boards, and even branching into television production. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 22 Jan. 2024 Most events take place at Mt. Hood, but the organization has branched into the Seattle area to meet demand, hosting an event at the Summit in Snoqualmie. Matt Kirouac, Travel + Leisure, 3 Jan. 2024 Hundreds of millions of years ago the common ancestor to all living animals branched into two species. Cara Giovanetti, Scientific American, 4 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'branch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near branch

Cite this Entry

“Branch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/branch. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

branch

1 of 2 noun
1
: a natural division of a plant stem (as a bough growing from a trunk or twig from a bough)
2
: something extending from a main line or source
river branch
a railroad branch
3
: a separate or subordinate division or part of a central system
executive branch of the government
a branch of a bank
branched adjective
branchless adjective

branch

2 of 2 verb
1
: to send out branches : spread or separate into branches
a great elm branches over the yard
2
: to spring out from a main body or line : diverge
streets branching off the highway
3
: to extend activities
the business is branching out all over the state

Medical Definition

branch

noun
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
branch intransitive verb
branched adjective

Legal Definition

branch

noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on branch

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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