On a plant, an offshoot is a sprout or shoot that branches off. From this botanical meaning, offshoot has come to describe anything that starts or grows from something else.

You can start a whole new plant with a houseplant’s offshoot, by putting it in water and waiting for it to grow roots. Another kind of offshoot is a local branch of a library, an offshoot of the central location, or an offshoot of a popular TV show, also called a “spin-off.” Interestingly, the earliest definition of offshoot, in the seventeenth century, referred to family trees. It wasn’t until 1814 that offshoot was used for actual plants.

Definitions of offshoot
  1. noun

    a natural consequence of development

    branch, offset, outgrowth
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    type of:

    consequence, effect, event, issue, outcome, result, upshot

    a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon

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