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Related to branches: Branches of government

offer the olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. (Can also be formulated as "offer someone the olive branch.") The conservatives in Congress seem to be offering the olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to offer the olive branch. I was still hurt by the way my parents had lied to me, but I decided to offer them the olive branch at Christmas.
See also: branch, offer, olive

offer an olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. (Can also be formulated as "offer someone an olive branch.") The conservatives in Congress seem to be offering an olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to offer an olive branch. I was still hurt by the way my parents had lied to me, but I decided to offer them an olive branch at Christmas.
See also: branch, offer, olive

an/the olive branch

A symbol, expression, or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. Used most commonly in the phrase "hold out/offer (someone) an/the olive branch." The conservatives in Congress seem to be offering the olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to hold out the olive branch.
See also: branch, olive

private branch exchange

A telephone system within an institution or business that can only be used by the people inside that establishment. There was an issue with the private branch exchange this morning, but we hope to have the phones working again shortly.
See also: branch, exchange, private

branch off

To split or move away from something. Don't worry, you can stay on Main Street for now—the street you need to turn on to branches off of Main Street. The subclavian artery branches off from the aorta.
See also: branch, off

branch out

1. To split or move away from something. The subclavian artery branches out from the aorta.
2. To grow out from a tree trunk or limb, as of a tree branch. I'm pretty sure the limb that fell in our yard branched out from your tree.
3. To explore something new; to widen one's interests or scope of expertise. Primarily heard in UK. You're a great student, honey, but I would really like for you to branch out and try a sport this year. Paul used to only be interested in still photography, but he's branching out and shooting movies now.
See also: branch, out

hold out an olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. The conservatives in Congress seem to be holding out an olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to hold out an olive branch.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

hold out an/the olive branch

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc., so as to end a disagreement or dispute. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to hold out the olive branch. I was still hurt by the way my parents had lied to me, but I decided to hold out an olive branch by going home for Christmas.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

hold out the olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. The conservatives in Congress seem to be holding out the olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to hold out the olive branch.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

branch off (from something)

to separate off from something; to divide away from something. A small stream branched off from the main channel. An irrigation ditch branched off here and there.
See also: branch, off

branch out

 (from something)
1. Lit. [for a branch] to grow out of a branch or trunk. (Having to do with plants and trees.) A twig branched out of the main limb and grew straight up. The bush branched out from the base.
2. Fig. to expand away from something; to diversify away from narrower interests. The speaker branched out from her prepared remarks. The topic was very broad, and she was free to branch out.
See also: branch, out

branch out (into something)

Fig. to diversify and go into new areas. I have decided to branch out into some new projects. Business was very good, so I decided to branch out.
See also: branch, out

hold out the olive branch

Fig. to offer to end a dispute and be friendly; to offer reconciliation. (The olive branch is a symbol of peace and reconciliation. A biblical reference.) Jill was the first to hold out the olive branch after our argument. I always try to hold out the olive branch to someone I have offended. Life is too short for a person to bear grudges for very long.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

branch off

Diverge, subdivide, as in It's the house on the left, just after the road branches off, or English and Dutch branched off from an older parent language, West Germanic. This term alludes to a tree's growth pattern, in which branches grow in separate directions from the main trunk. [Second half of 1800s] Also see branch out.
See also: branch, off

branch out

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.
See also: branch, out

olive branch

A symbol of peace, an offering of good will, as in They feuded for years, but finally the Hatfields came over bearing an olive branch. This term is alluded to in the Bible (Genesis 8:11), where the dove comes to Noah after the flood with an olive leaf in its mouth. [c. 1600]
See also: branch, olive

root and branch

Utterly, completely, as in The company has been transformed root and branch by the new management. Alluding to both the underground and aboveground parts of a tree, this idiom was first recorded in 1640.
See also: and, branch, root

hold out an olive branch

or

offer an olive branch

COMMON If you hold out an olive branch or offer an olive branch to someone, you say or do something to show that you want to end a disagreement with them. We are holding out an olive branch, inviting the landowners to talk to us. The authorities have offered an olive branch to the community. Note: You can say that someone accepts an olive branch if they accept the thing that has been said or done to end the disagreement. It would be some time before he would accept the olive branch offered to him. Note: You can use olive branch to mean an offer of peace or friendship. I think the olive branch will have to come from both sides. He invited the world to choose between the gun and the olive branch. Note: The story of the Flood in the Bible tells how Noah sent out first a raven, then a dove, to see if there was any sign of land. If they found some land, it would mean that God had forgiven man: `And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off; so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.' (Genesis 8:11)
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

root and branch

COMMON If something is changed or reformed root and branch, it is changed or reformed completely, so that none of the old or traditional parts remain. These genuinely radical measures should change our economic system root and branch. Note: A root-and-branch reform, change or examination is a complete reform, change or examination. The Chief Inspector of Prisons called for root and branch reform of the prison system yesterday. The government has embarked on a root and branch review of the future of student finance. Note: In 1641 the Root and Branch Bill abolishing the government of the church by bishops was presented to the English Parliament. Those who supported the bill were known as `root-and-branch men', and the term has been used to refer to reform ever since.
See also: and, branch, root

branch off

v.
1. To separate from a main road or path and follow a smaller one: Take a left where the main trail branches off onto a footpath.
2. To separate from a primary source or origin and move or develop in a different direction: After we discovered a new species of insect, some members of our research team branched off and are studying it. A new political group has branched off from the old party.
See also: branch, off

branch out

v.
1. To develop or have many branches or tributaries: Once this tree reaches a certain size, it will begin to branch out. The river branches out into a great delta before flowing into the sea.
2. To grow out of a tree trunk or branch: I like to sit on a large limb that branches out from the apple tree.
3. To expand the scope of one's interests or activities into a new area or areas: At first I studied only Latin, but later I branched out and began learning other languages, too.
See also: branch, out

root and branch

Utterly; completely: The organization has been transformed root and branch by its new leaders.
See also: and, branch, root
References in classic literature ?
The waves of the branches closed over the boy, but Chil balanced away to the next tree in time to see the little brown face come up again.
Bagheera climbed as he had never climbed before, but the thin branches broke beneath his weight, and he slipped down, his claws full of bark.
I do not think it could have made off so fast among the branches if it could not get a grip with its feet.
Chattering and gibbering through the lower branches of the trees came a company of manlike creatures evidently urging on the dog pack.
At sight of me several of the savage creatures left off worrying the great brute to come slinking with bared fangs toward me, and as I turned to run toward the trees again to seek safety among the lower branches, I saw a number of the man-apes leaping and chattering in the foliage of the nearest tree.
The great tree with its entangling branches rose gradually from the panther, who, feeling the encumbering weight diminish, quickly crawled from beneath.
Instead, it stood a few paces from the tree watching the ape-man clamber out of the maze of fallen branches.
The limbs divided into great branches, and these into lesser and lesser branches, were themselves once, when the tree was small, budding twigs; and this connexion of the former and present buds by ramifying branches may well represent the classification of all extinct and living species in groups subordinate to groups.
These bodies have no relation whatever with the production of the eggs or gemmules, as they are formed before th young polypi appear in the cells at the end of the growin branches; as they move independently of the polypi, and d not appear to be in any way connected with them; and a they differ in size on the outer and inner rows of cells, I hav little doubt, that in their functions, they are related rathe to the horny axis of the branches than to the polypi in th cells.
But the remarkable circumstance was, that th flashes of light always proceeded up the branches, from th base towards the extremities.
This happened every year; and the young Fir Tree, that had now grown to a very comely size, trembled at the sight; for the magnificent great trees fell to the earth with noise and cracking, the branches were lopped off, and the trees looked long and bare; they were hardly to be recognised; and then they were laid in carts, and the horses dragged them out of the wood.
I am now tall, and my branches spread like the others that were carried off last year
The impetuosity of this act and the weight and momentum of his body carried the bull backward, clutching and clawing for support, down through the leafy branches of the tree.
She had even placed her precious balu upon the soft grasses and come a little nearer that she might better witness all that was passing in the branches above her.
I observed this also and contrived a fan of branches, which roused the embers when they were nearly extinguished.
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