\ ˈkȯrk How to pronounce cork (audio) \

Definition of cork

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : the elastic tough outer tissue of the cork oak that is used especially for stoppers and insulation
b : phellem
2 : a usually cork stopper for a bottle or jug
3 : a fishing float


corked; corking; corks

Definition of cork (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to furnish or fit with cork or a cork
2 : to stop up with a cork cork a bottle
3 : to blacken with burnt cork corked faces


geographical name
\ ˈkȯrk How to pronounce Cork (audio) \

Definition of Cork (Entry 3 of 3)

1 county of southwestern Ireland in Munster bordering on the Celtic Sea area 2880 square miles (7459 square kilometers), population 399,802
2 city and port at head of Cork Harbor, Ireland population 198,582

Note: The city of Cork is the capital of the county of Cork.

Examples of cork in a Sentence


the cork of a wine bottle


a corked bottle of wine a player who has been accused of illegally corking his bats
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some of these mats are manufactured with materials that appear to have some level of inherent anti-pathogen properties, like cork, while other brands claim to treat their mats with antimicrobial or antibacterial additives. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "Here's How Often You Should Really Clean Your Yoga Mat," 12 Apr. 2019 Stow wet boots and shoes in a tray that sops up the moisture: a plain old baking sheet lined with cork. Good Housekeeping, "Create a Handmade Boot Tray," 28 Jan. 2011 Sydney shark keeper Aaron Hay said on average 24 people died a year being hit in the head by a flying cork, compared to six or seven being killed by sharks around the world. Stephanie Bedo, Fox News, "Shark attacks: What you know about sharks is wrong," 16 July 2018 His family has owned the property since 1907, when it was acquired by António de Freitas, a Portuguese marquis who made a fortune processing cork. J. S. Marcus, WSJ, "When Home Is a Portuguese Bachelor Pad Fit for a King," 25 July 2018 But by Monday, according to the newspaper Le Monde, the rat riding a champagne cork had been cut cleanly out of the wall, and the homeless child had been splashed over with blue paint. Annalisa Quinn, New York Times, "In Paris, Banksy Spreads a Trail of Graffiti, and Rumors," 26 June 2018 This prompts him to make a Homeland-style cork board to assemble clues about Jack’s time in Vietnam, and to start reaching out to people who might have served with him. 6. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Recap: Jack and an Adult Kate Appeared Together for the First Time and It Was Emotional," 10 Oct. 2018 Here, walls of glass frame views of the yard, while new cork flooring complements a double-faced stone fireplace and wood paneling. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 11 best midcentury modern homes of 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Hear that glorious sound of popping cork while sipping ISC's signature brut sparkler at sister company August Hill Winery's tasting room near Starved Rock State Park. Lori Rackl,, "Bicentennial bucket list: 20 essential Illinois drinks," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ruby is gripped with fear every time fireworks go off or when a bottle is corked open, essentially whenever anything sounds like gunshots—making the season’s opening New Year’s Eve party particularly difficult for him. Candice Frederick, Teen Vogue, ""On My Block" Star Jason Genao on the Responsibility of Portraying a Gun Violence Survivor and "Showing a Wider View of America" With Ruby," 3 Apr. 2019 An open bottle of Champagne has the lifespan of a mayfly: Unlike red or white wine, there’s no corking it and saving it for cooking. Alexandra Kleeman, WSJ, "New Year’s Resolution: Pop Champagne Whenever," 28 Dec. 2018 For example, a wine that’s corked is often said to smell like a damp basement or wet dog, while a wine that’s too old is generally described as dusty and dried out, all tannin, no fruit. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "The Perverse Pleasure of a Truly Bad Bottle of Wine," 27 Sep. 2018 Throughout the night, Champagne corks flew across the room, and a palpable buzz grew in anticipation of a top-secret musical act, which around midnight was revealed to be none other than Travis Scott. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Travis Scott and Lewis Hamilton Blew the Roof Off of Tommy Hilfiger’s NYFW Bash," 11 Sep. 2018 All of Belle's bats (at least on that trip) were corked. Bud Shaw,, "A career writing about Cleveland sports: The blessings far outweighed The Curse -- Bud Shaw," 4 May 2018 In 1994, Belle was banned from seven games after he was caught using a corked bat. Nicole Hensley,, "Albert Belle arrested on indecent exposure charges in Arizona," 26 Mar. 2018 Skipping the bottle means skipping the corkscrew—and the possibility of cardboardy corked vino. Sunset, "6 Surprisingly Great Canned Wines for Your Camping Trip," 22 Jan. 2018 He was also suspended in 1994 for using a corked bat. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Former MLB slugger Albert Belle arrested at spring training game in Arizona, report says," 26 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cork.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cork


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cork


Middle English, cork, bark, probably from Middle Dutch *kurk or Middle Low German korck, from Old Spanish alcorque, ultimately from dialect Arabic qurq, from Latin quercus oak — more at fir

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cork

Dictionary Entries near cork







cork-bark elm

Statistics for cork

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cork

The first known use of cork was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cork



English Language Learners Definition of cork

: to close (something, such as a bottle) with a cork
: to put cork inside (something, such as a baseball bat)


\ ˈkȯrk How to pronounce cork (audio) \

Kids Definition of cork

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the light but tough material that is the outer layer of bark of a tree ( cork oak ) and is used especially for stoppers and insulation
2 : a stopper for a bottle or jug


corked; corking

Kids Definition of cork (Entry 2 of 2)

: to stop with a stopper cork a bottle

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cork

Spanish Central: Translation of cork

Nglish: Translation of cork for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cork for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cork

Comments on cork

What made you want to look up cork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!