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branch - definition and synonyms

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noun [countable]     branch pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a part of a tree that grows out of its trunk (=main stem) with leaves, flowers, or fruit growing on it. A very small branch is called a twig

    The wind rustled the bare branches of the trees.

    There was a bird perched on the topmost branch.

    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    a shop or office representing a large company or organization in a particular area

    The store has branches in over 50 cities.

    a branch manager

    1. b.
      a department that performs a particular job or has a particular responsibility: can be followed by a singular or plural verb

      the anti-terrorism branch of Scotland Yard

    2. c.
      a part of the government with a particular responsibility. The three branches of government are the legislative branch (=the parliament that makes laws), the executive branch (=the president or ministers who govern according to those laws), and the judicial branch (=the judges and courts who make certain that the laws are used correctly).
  3. 3
    a part of a particular area of study or knowledge
    branch of:

    Mechanics is a branch of physics.

    the branch of medicine that treats ailments of the stomach

  4. 4
    a section of a family who are all related to one person who lived in the past
    branch of:

    One branch of Jane’s family lives in San Francisco.

  5. 5
    a part of a river that leads away from the main part
    branch of:

    the larger branches of the Mekong River

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