Meaning of BRANCH in English
I. branch 1 S2 W2 /brɑːntʃ $ bræntʃ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: branche , from Late Latin branca 'animal's foot' ]
1 . OF A TREE a part of a tree that grows out from the ↑ trunk (=main stem) and that has leaves, fruit, or smaller branches growing from it ⇨ limb :
After the storm, the ground was littered with twigs and branches.
The topmost branches were full of birds.
2 . OF A BUSINESS/SHOP/COMPANY ETC a local business, shop etc that is part of a larger business etc:
The bank has branches all over the country.
a branch office in Boston
She now works in our Denver branch.
Where’s their nearest branch?
They’re planning to open a branch in St. Louis next year.
Have you met our branch manager, Mr. Carlson?
3 . OF GOVERNMENT a part of a government or other organization that deals with one particular part of its work ⇨ department :
All branches of government are having to cut costs.
the executive/judicial/legislative branch (=the three main parts of the US government)
4 . OF A SUBJECT one part of a large subject of study or knowledge ⇨ field
a branch of mathematics/physics/biology etc
5 . OF A FAMILY a group of members of a family who all have the same ↑ ancestor s ⇨ side :
the wealthy South American branch of the family
6 . OF A RIVER/ROAD ETC a smaller less important part of a river, road, or railway that leads away from the larger more important part of it:
The rail company may have to close the branch line to Uckfield.
II. branch 2 BrE AmE verb [intransitive]
to divide into two or more smaller, narrower, or less important parts ⇨ fork :
When you reach the village green, the street branches into two.
branch off phrasal verb
1 . if a road, passage, railway etc branches off from another road etc, it separates from it and goes in a different direction SYN fork off
branch off from
a passage branching off from the main tunnel
2 . British English to leave a main road SYN fork off
branch off from/into
We branched off from the main road and turned down a country lane.
3 . to start talking about something different from what you were talking about before
branch off into
Then the conversation branched off into a discussion about movies.
branch out phrasal verb
to start doing something different from the work or activities that you normally do:
Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new.
branch out into (doing) something
Profits were falling until the bookstore branched out into selling CDs.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012