Branch n.; pl. Branches
1. Bot. A shoot or secondary stem growing from the main stem, or from a principal limb or bough of a tree or other plant.
2. Any division extending like a branch; any arm or part connected with the main body of thing; ramification; as, the branch of an antler; the branch of a chandelier; a branch of a river; a branch of a railway.
Most of the branches , or streams, were dried up. --W. Irving.
3. Any member or part of a body or system; a distinct article; a section or subdivision; a department. “Branches of knowledge.”
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath. --Shak.
4. Geom. One of the portions of a curve that extends outwards to an indefinitely great distance; as, the branches of an hyperbola.
5. A line of family descent, in distinction from some other line or lines from the same stock; any descendant in such a line; as, the English branch of a family.
His father, a younger branch of the ancient stock. --Carew.
6. Naut. A warrant or commission given to a pilot, authorizing him to pilot vessels in certain waters.
Branches of a bridle, two pieces of bent iron, which bear the bit, the cross chains, and the curb.
Branch herring. See Alewife.
Root and branch , totally, wholly.
Syn: -- Bough; limb; shoot; offshoot; twig; sprig.