Definition of branch in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /bran(t)SH/


1A part of a tree that grows out from the trunk or from a bough.
Example sentences
  • Of special interest are the bromeliads that grow on trunks and along branches of big trees.
  • Twenty or thirty large, gently fluted pods grow directly from the tree's trunk and branches, dangling like holiday ornaments.
  • In other cases, growing trees had their branches cut regularly on one side, because they leaned on to private property; the trees grew up lopsided and leaned far on to the roads.
bough, limb, arm, offshoot
1.1A lateral extension or subdivision extending from the main part of something, typically one extending from a river, road, or railway: a branch of the Susquehanna River
More example sentences
  • In the Rio Negro, it inhabits the large swamps that form where tributaries meet the main branch of the river.
  • That hill led to the back of another sight, and that sight was connected to a branch of the main road.
  • The main station is being built at Ondangwa where the railway branches to Oshakati and to Oshikango.
tributary, feeder, side stream, fork, side channel, influent
1.2A division or office of a large business or organization, operating locally or having a particular function: he went to work at our Boston branch
More example sentences
  • Postbank operates 30 branches and 93 offices across the country and is represented in about 2300 post offices in Bulgaria.
  • In the Rangoon division, 18 out of 40 branch offices are now operating, with nine permitted to put up their old signboards.
  • This organization replaced an association of NGOs working for alcohol abstinence and had branch offices operating on regional and local levels.
division, subdivision, section, subsection, subset, department, sector, part, side, wing
office, bureau, agency;
subsidiary, affiliate, offshoot, satellite
1.3A conceptual subdivision of something, especially a family, group of languages, or a subject: a branch of mathematics called graph theory
More example sentences
  • Otherwise, the tongues spoken in Indonesia belong to several branches of the Austronesian language family.
  • All the national languages, with the exception of the official language, English, are Bantu, a branch of the Niger-Congo language family.
  • The Estonian language is a branch of the Baltic-Finnish group of the Finno-Ugric family, related to Finnish.
1.4 Computing A control structure in which one of several alternative sets of program statements is selected for execution.
Example sentences
  • This processor uses dynamic execution, a combination of improved branch prediction, speculative execution and data flow analysis.
  • To achieve highly accurate branch prediction, it is necessary not only to allocate more resources to branch prediction hardware but also to improve the understanding of branch execution characteristics.
  • The second table, called the global predictor, predicts the branch direction based on the actual path of execution to reach the branch.


[no object]
1(Of a road or path) divide into one or more subdivisions.
Example sentences
  • In the centre of the village, a small side road branched away and climbed a steep brae beyond the houses and back gardens.
  • There was a conservatory situated a small distance behind the house, and a small path branched from the driveway to the door.
  • Soon the crack widened, however, and their path branched down into the darkness.
fork, bifurcate, divide, subdivide, split
diverge from, deviate from, split off from;
fan out from, radiate from
1.1(Of a tree or plant) bear or send out branches: (as adjective branched) the common sea lavender can be identified by its branched stem
More example sentences
  • The basal stems can be confused with those of L. mucronata, but that species has branched basal stems that are prostrate and petiolate basal leaves.
  • Mosses branched from the common ancestor of vascular plants around 400 MYA.
  • Plants show similar repetitive structures in, for example, the veins on a leaf or a tree's branching limbs.
1.2 (branch off) Diverge from the main route or part: the road branched off at the town figurative Ellington was constantly branching off with new musical styles
More example sentences
  • Some RTC buses branched off from the main roads to find emergency escape routes like by-lanes, already jammed by cars and two-wheelers!
  • Nestle into one of several campsites at the base of the 300-foot-tall amphitheater, and explore the many slots and dry waterfalls branching off from Labyrinth's main canyon.
  • A more adventurous method would be to simply explore each road radiating from the main junction or branching off into narrow arteries, and you'll be bound to hit the same spots, more or less.
1.3 (branch out) Extend or expand one’s activities or interests in a new direction: the company is branching out into Europe
More example sentences
  • He said the tour has given the band the chance to branch out and explore different directions and to satisfy their eclectic tastes.
  • Certainly, they branch out in different directions in attitudes to football management.
  • Acting is still a great love of mine, but I thought it was time to branch out and expand my world.
expand, open up, extend;
diversify, broaden one's horizons



Pronunciation: /ˈbran(t)SHlət/
Example sentences
  • The shoots grow off of longer horizontal or drooping branchlets.
  • Overlap one branchlet or bundle over the cut ends of the last to hide them and the wire.
  • Here we introduce a new procedure, branchlet shaking, and compare it with chemical knockdown.


Pronunciation: /-ˌlīk/
Example sentences
  • To further draw the eye to the outside, Anne-Marie makes use of a bench that runs from the living room to the portico by placing several highly-coloured, branch-like forms cast from resin on either side of the glass partition.
  • Shanghai is the most important location for branch-like activities, such as manufacturing, assembly/processing, and raw material sourcing.
  • For example, she replaces bold geometrics with abstracted natural patterns in floor-coverings and uses branch-like forms overhead to make ceilings reminiscent of tree canopies.


Pronunciation: /ˈbran(t)SHē/
Example sentences
  • It is a branchy, brushy, rooty tree, without leaves.
  • I began raking up the leaves and branches I'd trimmed, and clearing out a lot of debris that had collected in and around the branchy bush.
  • The brain, at least from afar, looks like a plate of macaroni, its branchy veins rivers of red pepper sauce.


Middle English: from Old French branche, from late Latin branca 'paw'.

Words that rhyme with branch

blanch, Blanche, ranch, tranche

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: branch

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.