c.1300, braunch, "limb of a tree" (also used of things analogous to it, especially geographic features), from Old French branche "branch, bough, twig; branch of a family" (12c.), from Late Latin branca "footprint," later "a claw, paw," of unknown origin, probably from Gaulish. The connecting notion would be the shape (cf. pedigree). Replaced native bough. Meaning "local office of a business" is first recorded 1817, from earlier sense of "component part of a system" (1690s).
"send out shoots or new limbs," late 14c., also, of blood vessels, family trees, etc., "to be forked," from branch (n.). Meaning "to spread out from a center, radiate" is from c.1400. Related: Branched; branching.
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.