Online Encyclopedia

BRANCH (from the Fr. branche, late La...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 419 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BRANCH (from the Fr. branche, late Lat. branca, an animal's paw), a limb of a tree; hence any offshoot, e.g. of a river, railway, &c., of a deer's antlers, of a family or genealogical tree, and generally a subdivision or department, as in " a branch of learning." The phrase, to destroy " root and branch," meaning to destroy utterly, taken originally from Malachi iv. 1, was made famous in 1641 by the so-called " Root and Branch " Bill and Petition for the abolition of episcopal government, in which petition occurred the sentence, " That the said government, with all its dependencies, roots and branches, be destroyed." Among technical senses of the word "branch" are: the certificate of proficiency given to pilots by Trinity House; and in siege-craft a length of trench forming part of a zigzag approach.
End of Article: BRANCH (from the Fr. branche, late Lat. branca, an animal's paw)
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