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Borrowed from Middle French ramifier, from Medieval Latin ramificare (to branch, ramify), from Latin rāmus (a branch) + faciō (do, make).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈɹæm.ɪ.faɪ/, /ˈɹæm.ə.faɪ/
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ramify (third-person singular simple present ramifies, present participle ramifying, simple past and past participle ramified)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To divide into branches or subdivisions.
    • 1893, Henry Morris, Human Anatomy, page 648
      The cortical, hemispheral or superficial veins ramify on the surface of the brain and return the blood from the cortical substance into the venous sinuses.
  2. (figuratively) To spread or diversify into multiple fields or categories.
    to ramify an art, subject, scheme
    • 1918 May 9, Lytton Strachey, “[Cardinal Manning.] Chapter VII”, in Eminent Victorians: Cardinal Manning, Florence Nightingale, Dr. Arnold, General Gordon (Library of English Literature; LEL 11347), London: Chatto & Windus, OCLC 920474333, page 89:
      And, of course, on such momentous occasions as these, Manning was in his element. None knew those difficult ropes better than he; none used them with a more serviceable and yet discreet alacrity. In every juncture he had the right word, or the right silence; his influence ramified in all directions, from the Pope's audience chamber to the English Cabinet.
    • 2003, Wim van Binsbergen, Intercultural Encounters: African and anthropological lessons towards a philosophy of interculturality, page 285
      My point here is that the field within which such determination takes place is not bounded to constitute a single discipline, a single academic elite, a single language domain, a single culture, a single historical period, but that that field ramifies out so as to encompass, ultimately, the entire history of the whole of humankind.


  • (divide into branches): branch

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