- a division or subdivision of the stem or axis of a tree, shrub, or other plant.
- a limb, offshoot, or ramification of any main stem: the branches of a deer's antlers.
- any member or part of a body or system; a section or subdivision: the various branches of learning.
- a local operating division of a business, library, or the like.
- a line of family descent stemming from a particular ancestor, as distinguished from some other line or lines from the same stock; a division of a family.
- a tributary stream or any stream that is not a large river or a bayou.
- Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. branch water(def 2).
- Linguistics. (in the classification of related languages within a family) a category of a lower order than a subfamily and of a higher order than a subbranch or a group, as the Germanic branch of Indo-European.Compare group(def 4a).
- Computers. a point in a computer program where the computer selects one of two or more instructions to execute, according to some criterion.
- Nautical. a warrant or license permitting a pilot to navigate in certain waters.
- to put forth branches; spread in branches.
- to divide into separate parts or subdivisions; diverge: The main road branches off to the left.
- to expand or extend, as business activities: The bank has plans to branch throughout the state.
- to divide into branches or sections.
- to adorn with needlework; decorate with embroidery, as in textile fabrics.
- branch out, to expand or extend, as business activities, pursuits, interests, etc.: The business is branching out into computers.
Origin of branch
SynonymsSee more synonyms for branch on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for branching
All these talented chefs are graduating from these old-guard kitchens and branching out and the market is saturated.High Rents Are Killing the Restaurant Capital
October 28, 2014
Branching tunnels disappeared into the darkness, studded with chiseled rock chambers.The Real Monuments Men: The Coronation Chamber of Hitler
February 6, 2014
After dropping out of FIT, Oliver focused on his brand, branching out into sweatshirt design and ready-to-wear.Street Wear Brand Hood by Air Makes Fashion Week Debut
Misty White Sidell
February 11, 2013
Dwyane Wade Launches Sneakers: Basketball superstar Dwyane Wade is branching into fashion, with a new Wade lifestyle brand.Kate Upton Lands Second Vogue Cover; Lena Dunham Does Twiggy
The Fashion Beast Team
December 6, 2012
According to one publicist, the answer lies in branching out into a "horizontally integrated economic model."The Economy of the Aging Sex Kitten
November 15, 2010
Dendroid: tree or shrub-like: branching like a tree or shrub.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology
John. B. Smith
It has already been shown that the fibers are the result of a branching of cells.The Mind and Its Education
George Herbert Betts
On the Common, which was a pasture, was a branching elm, a place of executions.True to His Home
After two miles of travel I came to a branching of the trail.A Virginia Scout
In India, Vyasa is branching, strange, impenetrable as a pagoda.Notre-Dame de Paris
- physics the occurrence of several decay paths (branches) in the disintegration of a particular nuclide or the de-excitation of an excited atom. The branching fraction (nuclear) or branching ratio (atomic) is the proportion of the disintegrating nuclei that follow a particular branch to the total number of disintegrating nuclides
- a secondary woody stem arising from the trunk or bough of a tree or the main stem of a shrub
- a subdivision of the stem or root of any other plant
- an offshoot or secondary parta branch of a deer's antlers
- a subdivision or subsidiary section of something larger or more complexbranches of learning; branch of the family
- (as modifier)a branch office
- US any small stream
- maths a section of a curve separated from the rest of the curve by discontinuities or special points
- Also called: jump computing a departure from the normal sequence of programmed instructions into a separate program area
- an alternative route in an atomic or nuclear decay series
- (intr) (of a tree or other plant) to produce or possess branches
- (intr usually foll by from) (of stems, roots, etc) to grow and diverge (from another part)
- to divide or be divided into subsidiaries or offshoots
- (intr often foll by off) to diverge from the main way, road, topic, etc
Word Origin and History for branching
c.1300, braunch, "limb of a tree" (also used of things analogous to it, especially geographic features), from Old French branche "branch, bough, twig; branch of a family" (12c.), from Late Latin branca "footprint," later "a claw, paw," of unknown origin, probably from Gaulish. The connecting notion would be the shape (cf. pedigree). Replaced native bough. Meaning "local office of a business" is first recorded 1817, from earlier sense of "component part of a system" (1690s).
"send out shoots or new limbs," late 14c., also, of blood vessels, family trees, etc., "to be forked," from branch (n.). Meaning "to spread out from a center, radiate" is from c.1400. Related: Branched; branching.
- An offshoot or a division of the main portion of a structure, especially that of a nerve, blood vessel, or lymphatic vessel; a ramus.
Idioms and Phrases with branching
In addition to the idioms beginning with branch
- branch off
- branch out
- olive branch
- root and branch