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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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.branchless - having no branches
branchy - having many branches; "a branchy tree trunk"
References in classic literature ?
At the end of this corridor I shall come to a spiral runway, which I must follow down instead of up; after that the way is along but a single branchless corridor.
At places gaunt scaffolding poles rose like the branchless trees of the brick desert.
Between us and her stretched up a tall pine, wondrously straight and slender and branchless to its very top, where it overflowed in a crest of dark boughs against the silvery splendour behind it.
TSYS senior executive, Malek Mroueh, said that branchless banking extends a unique and powerful financial service to the financially excluded, while providing a high level of convenience to the banked.
Banks, public sector institutions, Microfinance institutions, government agencies, pension funds, and academic institutions are invited to apply to promote G2P payment through bank accounts at branchless banking outlets and also provide other financial services to the G2P payments beneficiaries, he added.
With half of the adult population in Pakistan (approximately 60 million people) having access to a mobile phone but not having a bank account, mobile money, or branchless banking as it is known in Pakistan, plays an important role.
He was addressing inaugural ceremony of first branchless Islamic Banking Service U-Paisa in a local hotel The first branchless Islamic banking service has been jointly launched by Meezan Bank and U-Fone.
Global Banking News-October 6, 2015--BSP adds more branchless banking outlets
The Branchless Banking (BB) remains an effective channel to expand outreach of unbanked and under-banked people.
Branchless banking and e-banking are also brining in new customers into the financial field, writes M.
The one day conference entitled, `` Innovative Financial Inclusion through Branchless Banking was jointly arranged by the Institute of Management Studies UoP and State Bank of Pakistan at Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum Hall.
is conferred with an award for Excellence in Branchless Banking for their mobile financial solution, Panamax-MobiFin, at Mobile Money & Digital Payments - Global event held in Istanbul.