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.