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From Middle French ramification, or its source, Latin ramificō.



ramification ‎(plural ramifications)

  1. (botany, anatomy) A branching-out, the act or result of developing branches; specifically the divergence of the stem and limbs of a plant into smaller ones, or of similar developments in blood vessels, anatomical structures etc.
    • 1829, Lincoln Phelps, Familiar Lectures on Botany, p. 179:
      The character of trees may be studied to advantage [...] in winter, when the forms of the ramification can be seen in the naked boughs [...].
    • 1856, Neil Arnott & Isaac Hayes, Elements of Physics, pp. 414-5:
      From the left chamber or ventricle of the strong muscular mass, the heart, a large tube arises, called the aorta; and by a continued division or ramification, opens a way for the bright scarlet blood to the very minutest part of the living frame [...].
  2. An offshoot of a decision, fact etc.; a consequence or implication, especially one which complicates a situation.
    • 1834, Sir Walter Scott, Rob Roy:
      The treachery of some of the Jacobite agents (Rashleigh among the rest), and the arrest of others, had made George the First's Government acquainted with the extensive ramifications of a conspiracy long prepared, and which at last exploded prematurely [...].
    • 2009, The Guardian, Chris Power, Booksblog, 14 Jul 09:
      But most often and memorably his work falls into that territory best summed up as speculative fiction, with a particular emphasis on dystopian futures and the existential ramifications of space exploration.
  3. (mathematics) An arrangement of branches.

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ramification f ‎(plural ramifications)

  1. a (criminal) network, offshoots of an (often clandestine) organization
  2. ramification, implication
  3. (botany, anatomy) ramification

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Middle French[edit]


ramification f (plural ramifications)

  1. division into branches
    • 1570, Jean Canappe, Tables anatomiques du corps humain universel: soit de l'homme, ou de la femme page 24
      De laquelle nous donnerons la divarication, cestadire ramification, ou division en ses rameaux, quand nous traicterons du foye.
      From which [from the vein] we get separating out, that is to say ramification, or division into several branches, when we are talking about the liver.