\ 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
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

Noun the cork of a wine bottle Verb a corked bottle of wine a player who has been accused of illegally corking his bats
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The cork is used in wine bottles, of course, as well as shoes, bags and other items, all of which are sold in local shops). Eric Lipton, New York Times, "A Portugal of Pristine Beaches, Tiny Villages and Little Else," 31 Aug. 2019 The nine-year cycle of growing cork, Alentejo’s clock, is stubborn, slow moving, durable — and just right. Eric Lipton, New York Times, "A Portugal of Pristine Beaches, Tiny Villages and Little Else," 31 Aug. 2019 Speaking of returns, the biggest surprise on the cork board is… Eddie Murphy. Dan Snierson,, "Saturday Night Live releases star-studded season 45 lineup," 26 Aug. 2019 Instead, Hellas is using a combination of rice husks, coconut husks and cork, which will prevent the playing surface from getting too hot during the summer months. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Maranatha Christian building new fields," 17 July 2019 Around the corner, a staff member is pulling a floral border off a bulletin board, leaving behind bare cork board and a trail of staples on the tile floor. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Broad Ripple, Arlington and Northwest students say goodbye as their high schools close for good," 7 June 2018 Once the runoff subsides and the water clears, expect a good trout bite outside the marshes at dawn on topwaters, and around the gas rigs and artificial reefs in Mobile Bay on jigs, Vudu Shrimp or live shrimp under a slip cork. Frank Sargeant,, "Friday Fishing Report: Find out what’s working and where," 12 July 2019 The company just started a rent-a-mat program through which cork-curious yogis can try out the mat. Mary Billard, Los Angeles Times, "Is your yoga mat bad for the environment?," 19 July 2019 In the case of Vermelhos, Martins Pereira and other villagers fought in 2004 against a fire that burned for a week and destroyed the cork trees that form one of Portugal’s main industries. Raphael Minder,, "Portugal turns to goats as its wildfires get baaaad," 17 Aug. 2019 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

Last Updated

29 Oct 2019

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).


to spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!