Botanya 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.
Geologya tributary stream or any stream that is not a large river or a bayou.
Dialect Terms[Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S.]See 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. Cf. group (def. 4a).
Computinga point in a computer program where the computer selects one of two or more instructions to execute, according to some criterion.
Nautical, Naval Termsa 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.
Clothing, Textilesto 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.
Late Latin branca paw, of uncertain origin, originally
Anglo-French; Old French branche
Middle English bra(u)nche 1250–1300
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged offshoot, shoot. Branch,bough,limb refer to divisions of a tree. Branch is general, meaning either a large or a small division. Bough refers only to the larger branches:a bough loaded with apples.A limb is a large primary division of a tree trunk or of a bough:to climb out on a limb.
12.See corresponding entry in Unabridged ramify, subdivide.