Definition for BRANCH

BRANCH, n. [Fr. branche; Arm. brancq. If n is not radical, this word coincides with W. braic, the arm, a shoot. This is probably the fact.]

  1. The shoot of a tree or other plant; a limb; a bough shooting from the stem, or from another branch or bough. Johnson restricts the word to a shoot from a main bough; but the definition is warranted neither by etymology nor usage. A division of a main stem, supporting the leaves and fructification. – Martyn. An arm of a tree sprouting from the stem. – Encyc.
  2. Any arm or extended part shooting or extended from the main body of a thing; as the branch of a candlestick or of an artery. Hence, from similitude, a smaller stream running into a larger one, or proceeding from it. Also, the shoot of a stag's horn; an antler.
  3. Any member or part of a body, or system; a distinct article; a section or subdivision; as, charity is a branch of Christian duty.
  4. Any individual of a family descending in a collateral line; any descendant from a common parent or stock.
  5. Branches of a bridle, two pieces of bent iron which bear the bit, the cross chains, and the curb. – Encyc.
  6. In architecture, branches of ogives are the arches of Gothic vaults, traversing from one angle to another diagonally, and forming a cross between the other arches, which make the sides of the square, of which these arches are diagonals. – Harris.
  7. A warrant or commission given to a pilot. – Laws of Massachusetts.
  8. A chandelier. – Ash.

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