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 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 branch (audio) \ adjective
branchless \ ˈbranch-​ləs How to pronounce branch (audio) \ adjective
branchy \ ˈbran-​chē How to pronounce branch (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for branch

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Lamont’s executive order applies only to the executive branch and does not affect the legislature or the judiciary. Christopher Keating, courant.com, 8 Oct. 2021 Quarter-sized hail and 60 mph winds were possible in the area, according to the weather service's Tucson branch. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, 6 Oct. 2021 By 2002 the credit union had moved its operations from the church to a stand-alone branch in a Jackson shopping mall. Victor Luckerson, Wired, 5 Oct. 2021 There's as much nuance to this ever-developing story as there is to the Big Kathy's branch of the Richards family tree. Jodi Walker, EW.com, 23 Sep. 2021 As indicated in the name, executive orders only apply to the executive branch. Ella Lee, USA TODAY, 20 Sep. 2021 Such a scenario is only possible because lawmakers ceded their war-making power to the executive branch. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 18 Sep. 2021 He was saved when rescuers searching for another man spotted Mr. Rivera clinging to a branch in eight feet of fast-moving water, a police report shows. New York Times, 17 Sep. 2021 Deciding war and peace, the most consequential topic any nation can debate, was suddenly handed over by Congress to the executive branch on a silver platter. Daniel Depetris, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That’s because Illumina is trying to branch out from offering sequencing equipment to applying DNA sequencing in a way that’s useful to patients. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Aug. 2021 For one of Manhattan’s—and thus the world’s—preeminent department stores to branch into this hybrid live-work space shouldn’t be surprising. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 17 Aug. 2021 There are 17 train lines that branch out from the City Loop, which reach further than the tram network, and can often be faster than a tram if journeying more than a couple of miles. Keira Alexander, Travel + Leisure, 16 Aug. 2021 Good music can feel like the most valuable commodity in the world to the people who consume it—and yet the economics of fame, among other factors, encourage artists to branch into other arenas. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 13 Aug. 2021 Similar to how the Ancient One illustrated it to Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in Avengers: Endgame, Strange could be showing how timelines can branch off and form new realities. Nick Romano, EW.com, 24 Aug. 2021 Most trails branch off, so a partner helps ensure you don’t get lost. Sarah Michel, refinery29.com, 11 Aug. 2021 Some businesses located in urban centers are finding ways to branch out to smaller cities and suburban areas. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 26 July 2021 That means Abloh will get to branch out beyond fashion to LVMH’s other segments, which include liquor, watches, and leather goods. Marc Bain, Quartz, 20 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for branch

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near branch

brancardier

branch

branch bar

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Statistics for branch

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Branch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/branch. Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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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 branch (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

More from Merriam-Webster on branch

Nglish: Translation of branch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of branch for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about branch

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