What does branch mean?

Definitions for branch
bræntʃ, brɑntʃbranch

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word branch.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. branch, subdivision, armnoun

    a division of some larger or more complex organization

    "a branch of Congress"; "botany is a branch of biology"; "the Germanic branch of Indo-European languages"

  2. branchnoun

    a division of a stem, or secondary stem arising from the main stem of a plant

  3. branch, leg, ramificationnoun

    a part of a forked or branching shape

    "he broke off one of the branches"

  4. outgrowth, branch, offshoot, offsetnoun

    a natural consequence of development

  5. branchnoun

    a stream or river connected to a larger one

  6. arm, branch, limbverb

    any projection that is thought to resemble a human arm

    "the arm of the record player"; "an arm of the sea"; "a branch of the sewer"

  7. ramify, branchverb

    grow and send out branches or branch-like structures

    "these plants ramify early and get to be very large"

  8. branch, ramify, fork, furcate, separateverb

    divide into two or more branches so as to form a fork

    "The road forks"


  1. branchnoun

    The woody part of a tree arising from the trunk and usually dividing.

  2. branchnoun

    Something that divides like the branch of a tree.

  3. branchnoun

    A location of an organization with several locations.

    Our main branch is downtown, and we have branches in all major suburbs.

  4. branchnoun

    A local congregation of the LDS Church that is not large enough to form a ward; see Wikipedia article on ward in LDS church.

  5. branchnoun

    An area in business or of knowledge, research.

  6. branchnoun

    A certificate given by Trinity House to a pilot qualified to take navigational control of a ship in British waters.

  7. branchverb

    To arise from the trunk or a larger branch of a tree.

  8. branchverb

    To produce branches.

  9. branchverb

    To jump to a different location in a program, especially as the result of a conditional statement.

  10. Etymology: From branche, from branca, possibly from Gaulish *vranca, akin to Old Norse vró, Lithuanian rankà, Old Church Slavonic rǫka, Albanian rangë.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. BRANCHnoun

    Etymology: branche, Fr.

    Why grow the branches, when the root is gone?
    Why wither not the leaves that want their sap? William Shakespeare.

    Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names,
    That his own hand may strike his honour down,
    That violates the smallest branch herein. William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour Lost.

    The belief of this was of special importance, to confirm our hopes of another life, on which so many branches of christian piety does immediately depend. Henry Hammond, Fundamentals.

    In the several branches of justice and charity, comprehended in those general rules, of loving our neighbour as ourselves, and of doing to others as we would have them do to us, there is nothing but what is most fit and reasonable. John Tillotson.

    This precept will oblige us to perform our duty, according to the nature of the various branches of it. John Rogers.

    And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side. Exod. xxv. 32.

    His blood, which disperseth itself by the branches of veins, may be resembled to waters carried by brooks. Walter Raleigh, Hist.

    If, from a main river, any branch be separated and divided, then, where that branch doth first bound itself with new banks, there is that part of the river where the branch forsaketh the main stream, called the head of the river. Walter Raleigh, History.

    His father, a younger branch of the ancient stock planted in Somersetshire, took to wife the widow. Richard Carew, Survey.

    Great Anthony! Spain’s well-beseeming pride,
    Thou mighty branch of emperours and kings! Richard Crashaw.

  2. To Branchverb

    The spirit of things animate are all continued within themselves, and are branched in canals, as blood is; and the spirits have not only branches, but certain cells or seats, where the principal spirits do reside. Francis Bacon, Natural Hist.

    In robe of lily white she was array’d,
    That from her shoulder to her heel down raught,
    The train whereof loose far behind her stray’d,
    Branch’d with gold and pearl, most richly wrought. Edmund Spenser, Fairy Queen, b. ii. cant. 9.

  3. To Branchverb

    Etymology: from the noun.

    They were trained together in their childhoods, and there rooted betwixt them such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    The cause of scattering the boughs, is the hasty breaking forth of the sap; and therefore those trees rise not in a body of any height, but branch near the ground. The cause of the Pyramis, is the keeping in of the sap, long before it branch, and the spending of it, when it beginneth to branch by equal degrees. Francis Bacon, Natural Hist. №. 588.

    Plant it round with shade
    Of laurel, ever-green, and branching plain. John Milton, Agonistes.

    Straight as a line in beauteous order stood,
    Of oaks unshorn a venerable wood;
    Fresh was the grass beneath, and ev’ry tree
    At distance planted, in a due degree,
    Their branching arms in air, with equal space,
    Stretch’d to their neighbours with a long embrace. Dryden.

    One sees her thighs transform’d, another views
    Her arms shot out, and branching into boughs. Joseph Addison, Ovid.

    The Alps at the one end, and the long range of Appenines that passes through the body of it, branch out, on all sides, into several different divisions. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    If we would weigh, and keep in our minds, what it is we are considering, that would best instruct us when we should, or should not, branch into farther distinctions. John Locke.

    I have known a woman branch out into a long dissertation upon the edging of a petticoat. Spectator, №. 247.

    The swift stag from under ground
    Bore up his branching head. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. vii. l. 470.


  1. branch

    A branch can be defined in several ways depending on the context. In a general context, a branch refers to a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk or another main part. In a business context, a branch refers to a local office or shop belonging to a large company or organization. In science and engineering, a branch can refer to a division or subdivision of certain areas of study or professions. In computing, a branch is a version of a software project on which changes are made but kept separate to avoid affecting the main project. In terms of decision making or process flows, a branch can also refer to a point of divergence where multiple possible actions or outcomes exist. In a geographical context, a branch may refer to a subdivision of a river or a stream. In short, a branch usually refers to a subdivision or part of a larger entity, structure or process.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Branchnoun

    a shoot or secondary stem growing from the main stem, or from a principal limb or bough of a tree or other plant

  2. Branchnoun

    any division extending like a branch; any arm or part connected with the main body of thing; ramification; as, the branch of an antler; the branch of a chandelier; a branch of a river; a branch of a railway

  3. Branchnoun

    any member or part of a body or system; a distinct article; a section or subdivision; a department

  4. Branchnoun

    one of the portions of a curve that extends outwards to an indefinitely great distance; as, the branches of an hyperbola

  5. Branchnoun

    a line of family descent, in distinction from some other line or lines from the same stock; any descendant in such a line; as, the English branch of a family

  6. Branchnoun

    a warrant or commission given to a pilot, authorizing him to pilot vessels in certain waters

  7. Branchadjective

    diverging from, or tributary to, a main stock, line, way, theme, etc.; as, a branch vein; a branch road or line; a branch topic; a branch store

  8. Branchverb

    to shoot or spread in branches; to separate into branches; to ramify

  9. Branchverb

    to divide into separate parts or subdivision

  10. Branchverb

    to divide as into branches; to make subordinate division in

  11. Branchverb

    to adorn with needlework representing branches, flowers, or twigs


  1. Branch

    A branch tree branch is a woody structural member connected to but not part of the central trunk of a tree. Large branches are known as boughs and small branches are known as twigs. While branches can be nearly horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, the majority of trees have upwardly diagonal branches. The term "twig" often refers to a terminus, while "bough" refers only to branches coming directly from the trunk.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Branch

    bransh, n. a shoot or arm-like limb of a tree: anything like a limb of a tree: any offshoot or subdivision, a section or department of a subject: any subordinate division of a business, &c., as a branch-bank or pawn-shop.—v.t. to divide into branches.—v.i. to spread out as a branch (with out, off, from).—adj. Branched.—ns. Branch′er, a young hawk or other bird when it leaves the nest and begins to take to the branches; Branch′ery, branches collectively.—adjs. Branch′ing, furnished with or shooting out branches; Branch′less.—ns. Branch′let, a little branch; Branch′-pī′lot, one who holds the Trinity House certificate; Branch′-work, ornamental figured patterns.—adj. Branch′y.—Root and branch, thoroughly—used also adjectively, as in a 'root-and-branch' policy. [Fr. branche—Low L. branca, a beast's paw—L. brachium.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Branch

    A conductor branching from a main line. Sometimes the term is restricted to a principal conductor, from which current is distributed.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. branch

    1. A subdivision of any organization. 2. A geographically separate unit of an activity, which performs all or part of the primary functions of the parent activity on a smaller scale. Unlike an annex, a branch is not merely an overflow addition. 3. An arm or service of the Army. 4. The contingency options built into the base plan. A branch is used for changing the mission, orientation, or direction of movement of a force to aid success of the operation based on anticipated events, opportunities, or disruptions caused by enemy actions and reactions. See also sequel.


  1. Branch

    Branch (formerly Roundtable) enables a smart new brand of high quality public discourse. Curated groups of people are invited to engage around issues in which they are knowledgeable. This service holds the promise of a new platform for dialogue on the web-a necessary departure from the monologues we have grown so accustomed to reading online.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. branch

    The diploma of those pilots who have passed at the Trinity House, as competent to navigate vessels in particular places. The word branch is also metaphorically used for river divergents, but its application to affluents is improper. Any branch or ramification, as in estuaries, where they traverse, river-like, miles of territory, in labyrinthine mazes.

Editors Contribution

  1. branch

    A facet of a business, company or organization created for a specific purpose.

    The branch of the local bank pays its tax at a local level to the local government.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 7, 2020  

  2. branch

    A facet of a structure.

    The bronchus are a facet of the structure of the lungs.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 7, 2020  

  3. branch

    An element of a tree.

    The tree branch was very long and beautiful.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 20, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. branch

    The branch symbol -- In this Symbols.com article you will learn about the meaning of the branch symbol and its characteristic.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Branch is ranked #990 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Branch surname appeared 35,225 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 12 would have the surname Branch.

    47.3% or 16,686 total occurrences were White.
    45.9% or 16,168 total occurrences were Black.
    2.9% or 1,050 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.6% or 926 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.6% or 218 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.5% or 176 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'branch' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2047

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'branch' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1551

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'branch' in Nouns Frequency: #563

How to pronounce branch?

How to say branch in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of branch in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of branch in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of branch in a Sentence

  1. Karen Porter:

    The Office of the State Public Defender is an agency of the judicial branch of Colorado state government [and] the judicial branch of Colorado state government is not subject to the Colorado Open Records Act.

  2. Anonymous:

    Old programmers never die. They just branch out to a new address.

  3. Charles Krauthammer:

    Wars end when either one side is defeated or the other side stops. The other side is not stopping, under Obama's tenure, Al Qaeda, which is sort of international terrorism, jihadist terrorism, has expanded to a point where a branch, ISIS is essentially a branch, is the largest training camp of terrorism in the history of the world.

  4. Marc Chagall:

    When I am finishing a picture, I hold some God-made object up to it a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand as a final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If theres a clash between the two, its bad art.

  5. House Speaker Paul Ryan:

    This is the legislative branch, and the power of the purse rests within the legislative branch. And we fully expect that we are going to exercise that power.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for branch

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for branch »


Find a translation for the branch definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"branch." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/branch>.

Discuss these branch definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for branch? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    lacking orderly continuity
    • A. disjointed
    • B. occasional
    • C. opaque
    • D. hatched

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for branch: