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

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 For the first time in nearly three decades, the top three positions in the state’s executive branch will be held by Democrats. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Republicans are suddenly pushing “good governance” in states they lost power in.," 5 Dec. 2018 Critics of the approval process worry that some mergers could decrease competition and diminish the number of branches available to consumers in rural areas. Lalita Clozel, WSJ, "Bank Mergers Get Faster Under Trump," 13 Feb. 2019 While President Trump called for a Space Force, the fate of an independent branch of the military dedicated to space is still in question. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "There's Going to Be a TV Show About Space Force," 16 Jan. 2019 Elsewhere in the room, clusters of branches added height. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "How an Industrial Space in Brooklyn Was Transformed for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards Dinner," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Sotheby’s expert Patti Wong said Asian collectors are branching out beyond Picasso and Monet. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Huge Hits and Big Flops at New York’s Fall Art Auctions Send Mixed Signals About the Market," 16 Nov. 2018 My boyfriend, on the other hand, is just starting to branch out from microwave dinners and cold sandwiches. Lillian Li, Bon Appetit, "The 3 Dishes I’m Glad I Ruined," 5 Apr. 2018 Chrissy's in really good company: all of the top performers have branched out in their careers in various ways to include partnerships, acting, clothing lines, and other forms of branding. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Author, Cook, Mom, Wife Chrissy Teigen Is Also One of the Highest Paid Models," 14 Dec. 2018 Thomas branched out to collaborate with romantic partners, friends and trans women, always capturing something both theatrical and intensely real. Gayle Clemans, The Seattle Times, "‘MUSE’ offers a look at painter Mickalene Thomas’ photography — and at the artist herself," 23 Aug. 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

7 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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