Hypertext Webster Gateway: "branches"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

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

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.

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.

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