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Related to branching: Branching process, Branching Ratio, branching out


a. A secondary woody stem or limb growing from the trunk or main stem of a tree or shrub or from another secondary limb.
b. A lateral division or subdivision of certain other plant parts, such as a root or flower cluster.
2. Something that resembles a branch of a tree, as in form or function, as:
a. A secondary outgrowth or subdivision of a main axis, such as the tine of a deer's antlers.
b. Anatomy An offshoot or a division of the main portion of a structure, especially that of a nerve, blood vessel, or lymphatic vessel; a ramus.
3. A limited part of a larger or more complex unit or system, especially:
a. An area of specialized skill or knowledge, especially academic or vocational, that is related to but separate from other areas: the judicial branch of government; the branch of medicine called neurology.
b. A division of a business or other organization.
c. A division of a family, categorized by descent from a particular ancestor.
d. Linguistics A subdivision of a family of languages, such as the Germanic branch of Indo-European.
a. A tributary of a river.
b. Chiefly Southern US See creek. See Note at run.
c. A divergent section of a river, especially near the mouth.
5. Mathematics A part of a curve that is separated, as by discontinuities or extreme points.
6. Computers
a. A sequence of program instructions to which the normal sequence of instructions relinquishes control, depending on the value of certain variables.
b. The instructions executed as the result of such a passing of control.
7. Chemistry A bifurcation in a linear chain of atoms, especially in an organic molecule where isomeric hydrocarbon groups can vary in the location and number of these bifurcations of the carbon chain.
v. branched, branch·ing, branch·es
1. To put forth a branch or branches; spread by dividing.
2. To come forth as a branch or subdivision; develop or diverge from: an unpaved road that branches from the main road; a theory that branches from an older system of ideas.
3. Computers To relinquish control to another set of instructions or another routine as a result of the presence of a branch.
1. To separate (something) into branches.
2. To embroider (something) with a design of foliage or flowers.
Phrasal Verbs:
branch off
To diverge from a main body or path: a new faction that branched off from an established political party.
branch out
1. To develop branches or tributaries: a river that branches out into a delta.
2. To expand the scope of one's interests or activities: a knitter who branched out into crocheting.

[Middle English, from Old French branche, from Late Latin branca, paw, perhaps from Gaulish *branka; perhaps akin to Lithuanian ranka and Russian *ruka, hand.]

branch′less adj.
branch′y adj.
Synonyms: branch, arm1, fork, offshoot
These nouns denote something resembling or structurally similar to a limb of a tree: a branch of a railroad; an arm of the sea; the western fork of the river; an offshoot of a mountain range.


(General Physics) physics the occurrence of several decay paths (branches) in the disintegration of a particular nuclide or the de-excitation of an excited atom. The branching fraction (nuclear) or branching ratio (atomic) is the proportion of the disintegrating nuclei that follow a particular branch to the total number of disintegrating nuclides
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.branching - the act of branching out or dividing into branches
division - the act or process of dividing
bifurcation - the act of splitting into two branches
trifurcation - the act of splitting into three branches
divarication - branching at a wide angle
fibrillation - act or process of forming fibrils
Adj.1.branching - having branches
branchy - having many branches; "a branchy tree trunk"
2.branching - resembling the branches of a tree
diverging, divergent - tending to move apart in different directions
References in classic literature ?
Little by little the scene grew plain: towering, black buildings here and there, long rows of shops and sheds, little railways branching everywhere, bare gray cinders underfoot and oceans of billowing black smoke above.
Dean had deserted the Grange, but it was impossible to delay her at such a crisis, so I turned away and made my exit, rambling leisurely along, with the glow of a sinking sun behind, and the mild glory of a rising moon in front - one fading, and the other brightening - as I quitted the park, and climbed the stony by-road branching off to Mr.
So on he fares, and to the border comes Of EDEN, where delicious Paradise, Now nearer, Crowns with her enclosure green, As with a rural mound the champain head Of a steep wilderness, whose hairie sides With thicket overgrown, grottesque and wilde, Access deni'd; and over head up grew Insuperable highth of loftiest shade, Cedar, and Pine, and Firr, and branching Palm, A Silvan Scene, and as the ranks ascend Shade above shade, a woodie Theatre Of stateliest view.
He now came to a road branching in four directions, and immediately he was reminded of those cross-roads where knights-errant used to stop to consider which road they should take.
When the colonel's pain seemed soothed, the marquis resumed his fatigue; and with the instinct, or rather the will, of a wearied man his eye took in the very depths of the forest; he questioned the tree-tops and examined the branching paths, hoping to discover some dwelling where he could ask hospitality.
Slipping quietly through this opening I discovered a maze of winding corridors, branching and turning in every direction.
I heard a short, sharp cry behind me, a fall, and turning saw an awful face rushing upon me,--not human, not animal, but hellish, brown, seamed with red branching scars, red drops starting out upon it, and the lidless eyes ablaze.
At the branching off of the road toward Paris, Aramis, who had followed in the cardinal's suite, turned back.
On the shoulders of a comely youth uprose the head and branching antlers of a stag; a second, human in all other points, had the grim visage of a wolf; a third, still with the trunk and limbs of a mortal man, showed the beard and horns of a venerable he-goat.
Up hill and down dale did they go, by straight ways and crooked, and when they reached the heights of many-fountained Ida, they laid their axes to the roots of many a tall branching oak that came thundering down as they felled it.
A stone-flagged passage, with the kitchens branching away from it, led by a wooden staircase directly to the first floor of the house.
It was not exactly that a man had died; something had happened to the living: they had come to a situation where character tells, and where childhood enters upon the branching paths of Youth.