ramify

verb
ram·i·fy | \ˈra-mə-ˌfī \
ramified; ramifying

Definition of ramify 

intransitive verb

1 : to split up into branches or constituent parts

2 : to send forth branches or extensions

transitive verb

1 : to cause to branch

2 : to separate into divisions

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How Ramify Branched Off Latin

Ramify has been part of English since the 15th century and is an offshoot of the Latin word for "branch," which is "ramus." English acquired several scientific words from "ramus," including "biramous" ("having two branches"). Another English word derived from "ramus" is the now obsolete ramage, meaning "untamed" or "wild." "Ramage" originated in falconry-it was initially used of young hawks that had begun to fly from branch to branch in trees. "Ramify" started out as a scientific word, at first referring to branching parts of plants and trees and later to veins and nerves, but it soon branched out into non-scientific and even figurative uses, as in "ideas that ramify throughout society."

Examples of ramify in a Sentence

the rise of cable television ramified the audience, creating ever smaller segments for an ever growing array of programming choices

First Known Use of ramify

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for ramify

Middle English ramifien, from Anglo-French ramifier, from Medieval Latin ramificare, from Latin ramus branch; akin to Latin radix root — more at root

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Time Traveler for ramify

The first known use of ramify was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for ramify

ram·i·fy | \ˈram-ə-ˌfī \
ramified; ramifying

Medical Definition of ramify 

: to split up into branches or constituent parts

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evasion of direct action or statement

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