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

Feel free to stop by your local branch on April 19, before heading to Target to finish up any last-minute Easter basket needs. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "A Full List of Everything That's Open on Good Friday," 6 Mar. 2019 An example: Gwyneth Paltrow came on to the scene as an actor, so that's her branch. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "How Do the Oscars Work? Here's Your Step-by-Step Primer," 24 Feb. 2019 Call your local branch to make sure before heading over. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Places to Buy Glasses Online in 2019," 10 Jan. 2019 The features being integrated are fundamentally untested (because testing comes later), and have never been used with each other (because they were all developed separately in their own branches prior to the integration phase). Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Microsoft’s problem isn’t how often it updates Windows—it’s how it develops it," 20 Oct. 2018 The root-and-branch reforms that activist Nelson Peltz wants at Procter & Gamble now look more sustainable. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "What Kraft Heinz’s Mess Means for Rivals and Investors," 22 Feb. 2019 These [new] builds are from the 20H1 development branch. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft skips way, way ahead in new Windows 10 build," 14 Feb. 2019 For banks, transporting money from their vaults to ATMs and branches, sending and storing paper checks, and employing tellers to handle deposits and withdrawals is even more expensive. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 The Space Force would take all of these people and put them under their own umbrella, separate from the other branches. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space Command is coming back, but Space Force still needs approval from Congress," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Getty ImagesJoe Scarnici Jenna Dewan continues to branch out into new territory. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Is Giving Us Her Best Lifestyle Tips In New Book 'Gracefully You'," 6 Feb. 2019 In order to capture the attention of the community’s Gen Z audience, the developer decided to branch into fashion and style — a shakeup from more traditional jobs like business or military tracks. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "The Sims 4 will soon let you live out your influencer dreams," 18 Oct. 2018 Between a global market hungry for those select hits and government incentives to keep productions local, there wasn't much motivation for Latin American entertainment to branch out. Lexi Pandell, WIRED, "Meet Germán Garmendia, the Aggressively Normal YouTube Superstar Who Wants It All," 8 June 2018 Sour beer has shot up in popularity in the U.S. over the last few years, becoming an enticing beverage to people looking to branch out their beer palates or to those wanting to try something new. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "How to Talk About Beer Like a Pro on National Beer Day," 7 Apr. 2018 Apparently Sami-Karim gets Ali to branch out sartorially. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Mahershala Ali's Wife Amatus Sami-Karim? The Couple Are Both Artists," 23 Jan. 2019 Moving between mid-water and the deep sea, Phillips and Gruber were able to handle a wide range of organisms, like a glass sponge, a sea cucumber, a branching coral, and even free-floating bioluminescent tunicates. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Soft Robotic Arm Is Built To Study the Ocean's Most Delicate Creatures," 3 Oct. 2018 Instead, hoping to branch out, Little Ting’s wanted Eastsiders to give its new menu (meat and seafood clay pots) a try. Tan Vinh, The Seattle Times, "One of Seattle’s best dumpling restaurants comes to Bellevue," 16 July 2018 And now that Detroit’s greatest high-school basketball program ever was ending its run, Big Ed began to consider branching out. Carl Martin, Detroit Free Press, "Fab Five scandal doesn't tell full story of Ed Martin: 'He helped everybody'," 30 Apr. 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

21 Mar 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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