What are branches

Words nearby branch

brampton, bramwell, bran, bran tub, branagh, branch, branch cut, branch instruction, branch line, branch off, branch officer

Origin of branch

1250–1300;Middle Englishbra(u)nche < Anglo-French;Old Frenchbranche < Late Latinbranca paw, of uncertain origin


branch·less, adjectivebranch·like, adjectivein·ter·branch, adjectivemul·ti·branched, adjective

out·branch, verb (used with object)un·branched, adjectiveun·branch·ing, adjectiveun·der·branch, nounwell-branched, adjective

synonym study for branch

1. 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.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for branches

  • The birds poop all over the forest, and thanks to the viscin, the mistletoe seeds in said poop stick to branches.

    Mistletoe is the Vampire of Plants|Helen Thompson|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • Mistletoe bushes clump on branches like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

    Mistletoe is the Vampire of Plants|Helen Thompson|December 21, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • But the leaves and branches – the canopy it effectively creates -- is made up of solar panels.

    Parks and Regeneration|The Daily Beast|November 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • The basic Acacia model, equipped with seven branches that have a combined capacity of 1.4 kilowatts, costs $100,000.

    Parks and Regeneration|The Daily Beast|November 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • “Trust in all branches of federal government at or near record lows,” reports Gallup.

    The Sane Case for Auditing the Fed|Nick Gillespie|October 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • In some way one of his legs had slipped between the branches, the angle of which became more acute, of course, toward the apex.

    Our Bird Comrades|Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser

  • Although it was not yet dark a big camp fire was burning, made bright with pine cones and branches of pine.

    The Camp Fire Girls at the End of the Trail|Margaret Vandercook

  • In January they are pruned, and the branches left are entwined from tree to tree all along the line, and form impenetrable fences.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 643, April 28, 1888|Various

  • But they always alight on dense trees, in the thicket, and when they see the hunter they hide themselves in the branches.

    Fables for Children, Stories for Children, Natural Science Stories, Popular Education, Decembrists, Moral Tales|Leo Tolstoy

  • Its roots will live, but most of its branches will be killed each season.

    Amateur Gardencraft|Eben E. Rexford

British Dictionary definitions for branches



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

  1. a subdivision or subsidiary section of something larger or more complexbranches of learning; branch of the family
  2. (as modifier)a branch office

USany small stream

mathsa section of a curve separated from the rest of the curve by discontinuities or special points

Also called: jumpcomputinga 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

See also branch out

Derived forms of branch

branchless, adjectivebranchlike, adjectivebranchy, adjective

Word Origin for branch

C13: from Old French branche, from Late Latin branca paw, foot

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for branches



An offshoot or a division of the main portion of a structure, especially that of a nerve, blood vessel, or lymphatic vessel; a ramus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with branches


In addition to the idioms beginning with branch

also see:

  • olive branch
  • root and branch

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


[ branch, brahnch ]

/ bræntʃ, brɑntʃ /



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.

verb (used without object)

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.

verb (used with object)

to divide into branches or sections.

to adorn with needlework; decorate with embroidery, as in textile fabrics.

Verb Phrases

branch out, to expand or extend, as business activities, pursuits, interests, etc.: The business is branching out into computers.

Words related to branch

chapter, division, office, section, wing, member, bureau, subsidiary, arm, category, subdivision, extension, classification, annex, portion, dependency, connection, part, derivative, tributary