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 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

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 frompoetry that branched from religious prose
4 : to extend activities usually used with outthe 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ahead of me, Steve was hanging from one branch while throwing a leg up over another. Anchorage Daily News, "On the Kenai Peninsula, the hills are alive — and a lot farther away than they look," 20 June 2020 In the first two days of trading, sales at the Crouch End branch were up year-on-year but were down by 80% at Hatchards, a posh shop owned by Waterstones in central London. The Economist, "Shopping is back Britain’s bookshops reopen," 20 June 2020 Sanchez, now a proud manager at the largest AT&T branch in Dallas, says his DACA status expires in May 2021. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "'There's Hope for Us.' DACA Recipients Celebrate Supreme Court Ruling," 19 June 2020 The list of branch campuses hosting services on Sunday does not include Woodlawn High School or Parker High School. al, "Church of the Highlands re-opens for in-person worship," 19 June 2020 Each created a capsule collection of women’s and men’s tops, and one accessory for the chance to be included in Chase Style, the professional wardrobe worn by Chase branch employees. Nandi Howard, Essence, "ESSENCE Partners With Chase And Lands' End On Banking In Style," 18 June 2020 The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has taken steps to expand its Deer Park branch at the Dillonvale Shopping Center. Jeanne Houck, Cincinnati.com, "New library lease means Deer Park branch will be five times larger than current quarters," 17 June 2020 On the first day Hoosiers could walk into an Indiana BMV branch without an appointment since March 23, many were left standing outside for more than an hour. Ethan May, The Indianapolis Star, "As the BMV fully reopens, branches see record pace, hourlong lines outside," 16 June 2020 The south side Tippecanoe branch was where her mother took her for books. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Rotary to honor City Librarian Paula Kiely as 'person of the year'," 16 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The winning designer’s collection, produced by Lands’ End, will be available to branch employees in early 2021. Nandi Howard, Essence, "ESSENCE Partners With Chase And Lands' End On Banking In Style," 18 June 2020 In particular, Google’s cable named Equiano (after 18th century Nigerian writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano), will have 20 times the capacity of the most recent projects in the region, and will branch out first on Nigeria’s coast. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "Nigeria’s new broadband access plan is doomed to fail unless it fixes a perennial problem," 4 June 2020 The result was less a family tree, branching and widening, than a convoluted web. The Economist, "A breed apart The Habsburgs’ marriages consolidated lands as well as faulty genes," 28 May 2020 Their two roommates — a couple — were hoping for a quieter lifestyle, so the two singles decided to branch out and find a two-bedroom place. Nina Reyes, New York Times, "A New Lease With More Space Than They Needed," 9 May 2020 The Giants had intended for Dubon to branch out this year and play some center field, and his reaction was typical: no sweat. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Giants’ Mauricio Dubon candid about his lofty goals: ‘I love the spotlight’," 29 Mar. 2020 One thread branched into another, and then another. Michael Smith, Fortune, "How doctors are using social media to develop coronavirus treatments in real time," 24 Mar. 2020 There are half cut off suckers visible in your photo and many of them are now branched and leafing out. oregonlive, "Suckers from grafted rose need a trim: Ask an expert," 22 Mar. 2020 The campaign captured multiple awards, branched out with Spanish and chocolate milk versions and ultimately featured about 300 big names in entertainment, media and sports. jsonline.com, "Americans love soda, fancy water and fake milk. Can the dairy industry keep up?," 7 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about branch

Time Traveler for branch

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for branch

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Branch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/branch. Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for branch

branch

noun
How to pronounce branch (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on branch

What made you want to look up branch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!