ramification

A ramification is an accidental consequence that complicates things. Remember that time you borrowed your father's car without asking? The ramification was that Dad missed an important meeting, his company went under, and he had to sell the car. Oops!

The ramifications are the broader effects that fan out into the world from one situation, or decision, that kicks it all off. Ramification also refers to something branching out, like limbs on a tree — which is what bad decisions tend to do. Ramification is like consequence, but usually unintended and bad. The word is often used in political discussions about laws or government decisions because they might be made locally but could affect people worldwide.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: ramification

1
n
a development that complicates a situation
2
n
the act of branching out or dividing into branches
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: ramification
1

n a development that complicates a situation

“the court's decision had many unforeseen ramifications
Synonyms:
complication
Type of:
development
a recent event that has some relevance for the present situation
2

n the act of branching out or dividing into branches

Synonyms:
branching, fork, forking
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
bifurcation
the act of splitting into two branches
trifurcation
the act of splitting into three branches
divarication
branching at a wide angle
fibrillation
act or process of forming fibrils
Type of:
division
the act or process of dividing

n a part of a forked or branching shape

Synonyms:
branch, leg
Types:
bifurcation
a bifurcating branch (one or both of them)
brachium
(biology) a branching or armlike part of an animal
crotch, fork
the region of the angle formed by the junction of two branches
Type of:
subfigure
a figure that is a part of another figure

n an arrangement of branching parts

Type of:
arrangement, placement
the spatial property of the way in which something is placed
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES