Branch Branch, n.; pl. Branches. [OE. braunche, F. branche, fr. LL. branca claw of a bird or beast of prey; cf. Armor. brank branch, bough.] 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.' --Prescott. 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., Branch Branch, v. t. 1. To divide as into branches; to make subordinate division in. 2. To adorn with needlework representing branches, flowers, or twigs. The train whereof loose far behind her strayed, Branched with gold and pearl, most richly wrought. --Spenser., Branch Branch, a. Diverging from, or tributary to, a main stock, line, way, theme, etc.; as, a branch vein; a branch road or line; a branch topic; a branch store.