branch

Definitions

General English

  • noun a thick part of a tree, growing out of the main part
  • noun one part of something larger
  • noun a section of a road, railway line or river that leads to or from the main part
  • verb to divide into two or more parts

Agriculture

  • noun a woody stem growing out from the main trunk of a tree
  • noun a smaller stream separating from but still forming part of a river

Banking

  • noun the local office of a bank or large business, or a local shop which is part of a large chain

Commerce

  • noun the local office of a union, based in a factory

Computing

  • noun a possible path or jump from one instruction to another
  • noun a line linking one or more devices to the main network
  • verb to jump from one section of a program to another, often using a test or decision with two or more possible results that lead to two different points in the program

Construction

  • In plumbing, an inlet or outlet from the main pipeline, usually at an angle to the main pipeline. The pipe may be a water supply, drain, vent stack, or any other pipe used in a mechanical piping system.

Electronics

  • A subdivision of a unit or system.
  • A path within a circuit or electric network. Also called leg, or arm (3).
  • A connection between nodes, such as those in a communications network.
  • A computer instruction that switches the CPU to another location in memory. Also called jump, or branch instruction.

Law

  • noun a part or separate section of a area of knowledge or study such as the law

Medical

  • verb to split out into smaller parts

Politics

  • noun a section of government

Publishing

  • noun a local subsection of a business or organisation

Origin & History of “branch”

Branch comes via Old French branche from late Latin branca ‘paw’, but its ultimate origins are not known. In other romance languages it retains more of its original Latin sense (Spanish branca ‘claw’, e.g., and Romanian brinca ‘hand, paw’). The semantic connection between ‘limb of a tree’ and ‘appendage of a person or animal’ is fairly straightforward (compare (bough)).
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