|a printed punctuation mark (‽), available only in some typefaces, designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection, as after a rhetorical question.|
|a screen or mat covered with a dark material for shielding a camera lens from excess light or glare.|
|1.||a secondary woody stem arising from the trunk or bough of a tree or the main stem of a shrub|
|2.||a subdivision of the stem or root of any other plant|
|3.||an offshoot or secondary part: a branch of a deer's antlers|
|4.||a. a subdivision or subsidiary section of something larger or more complex: branches of learning; branch of the family|
|b. (as modifier): a branch office|
|5.||(US) any small stream|
|6.||maths a section of a curve separated from the rest of the curve by discontinuities or special points|
|7.||computing Also called: jump a departure from the normal sequence of programmed instructions into a separate program area|
|8.||an alternative route in an atomic or nuclear decay series|
|—vb (usually foll by from) (often foll by off)|
|9.||(intr) (of a tree or other plant) to produce or possess branches|
|10.||(of stems, roots, etc) to grow and diverge (from another part)|
|11.||to divide or be divided into subsidiaries or offshoots|
|12.||to diverge from the main way, road, topic, etc|
|[C13: from Old French branche, from Late Latin branca paw, foot]|
|—vb (often foll by into)|
|to expand or extend one's interests: our business has branched out into computers now|
An offshoot or a division of the main portion of a structure, especially that of a nerve, blood vessel, or lymphatic vessel; a ramus.
a symbol of kings descended from royal ancestors (Ezek. 17:3, 10; Dan. 11:7); of prosperity (Job 8:16); of the Messiah, a branch out of the root of the stem of Jesse (Isa. 11:1), the "beautiful branch" (4:2), a "righteous branch" (Jer. 23:5), "the Branch" (Zech. 3:8; 6:12). Disciples are branches of the true vine (John 15:5, 6). "The branch of the terrible ones" (Isa. 25:5) is rightly translated in the Revised Version "the song of the terrible ones," i.e., the song of victory shall be brought low by the destruction of Babylon and the return of the Jews from captivity. The "abominable branch" is a tree on which a malefactor has been hanged (Isa. 14:19). The "highest branch" in Ezek. 17:3 represents Jehoiakim the king.
Separate into subdivisions; strike off in a new direction. For example, Our software business is branching out into more interactive products, or Bill doesn't want to concentrate on just one field; he wants to branch out more. This term alludes to the growth habits of a tree's limbs. [Early 1700s] Also see branch off.