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

This beauty branch stayed strong even when the rest of Kitao dissolved. Devon Abelman, Allure, "What Kitao's Matcha Skin-Care Line Taught Me About Japanese Beauty," 11 May 2019 Earlier this year, my organization worked with other policy advocates to speak out about the need for legislative branch funding to pay Capitol Hill interns. Audrey Henson, Vox, "Diversity on Capitol Hill starts with paying interns," 26 Dec. 2018 The robber walked into the Wells Fargo branch at 6600 Taft Street at 10 a.m., left with an undisclosed amount of cash, and fled in a white, older model van, police said. Anne Geggis, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Do you know him? Bank robber hits Wells Fargo branch in Hollywood," 14 July 2018 One of its conceptual flaws was a failure to imagine political parties, which can effectively subordinate one branch to the other. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Paul Ryan Unaware Constitution Lets Congress Override Presidential Veto," 12 July 2018 They’re pictured sitting on a giant tree branch, the duke and duchess dressed down in jeans while George wears wellies and Charlotte, a navy blue cardigan. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Is Designing an Amazing Garden," 11 Feb. 2019 In December 2017, she was reportedly seen in the San Clemente, Orange County branch, accompanied by Blue Ivy and her mother, Tina Knowles Lawson. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé Was Seen Shopping in Target and Chrissy Teigen Had the Perfect Response," 8 Jan. 2019 The executive branch, however, has shied away from even discussing the subject. Fox News, "Homeland Security finds suspected phone surveillance devices in Washington," 2 Oct. 2018 Douglas, now 74, has served three years as president of the NAACP’s Houston branch, which this month is celebrating 100 years as an organization. Brooke A. Lewis, Houston Chronicle, "Houston NAACP celebrates 100th anniversary," 1 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Now the company, owned by husband and wife Brad and Moneen McBride of Cuyahoga Falls, is branching out to the Mahoning River too. Megan Becka, cleveland.com, "Burning River Adventures kayak and canoe rental adds Mahoning River livery," 9 May 2018 That’s not to say tech companies aren’t branching out at all beyond the top four markets, especially as real estate costs balloon in the upper echelon of tech cities. Rani Molla, Recode, "Amazon, Apple and others are expanding out of major tech cities — but mostly to other major tech cities," 20 Dec. 2018 Before branching into Kohl's, the sisters had previously worked with JcPenney on a clothing line in 2009, WWD reports. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Elizabeth and James Line Is Coming to Kohl’s," 11 Apr. 2019 Initially operating as an online retailer, the company has branched out into brick-and-mortar stores, its newest one opening in the Town Center Crossing shopping center in Leawood this September. Tuft & Needle, kansascity, "'Mattress Stores Are Greedy,' Except For This One (Sponsored) | The Kansas City Star," 14 May 2018 The polo club includes about 35 members and five volunteers from Maryland, Washington and Pennsylvania, starting from age 11, then branching off to award-winning high school and collegiate players, to retired adults in their 70s. Brittany Britto, baltimoresun.com, "Saddle up: Maryland Polo Club celebrates 'sport of kings' with weekly matches, lively BritFest," 5 June 2018 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

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

16 May 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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