\ ˈkȯrk \

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 \

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Moreover, even if the U.S. is able to put the gene-tinkering cork back in the bottle, wouldn’t that concede a competitive advantage to nations that aren’t so fastidious? Tom Shippey, WSJ, "Science Fiction: Best of 2018," 7 Dec. 2018 Since there is less overall exposure to the effects of oxygen (through the cork), the aging process of wine in a magnum takes around one and a half times longer than in a 0.75-liter bottle. Kristin Tice Studeman, Vogue, "The Best Wine for Every Thanksgiving Scenario," 19 Nov. 2018 Soffer, who is dressed in a high/low mix of Celine and COS, her petite frame augmented by towering cork wedges, is walking me through the ground level of the new three-story, 315,000-square-foot luxury wing that opened in 2017. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "A Guide to Miami's Chicest Shopping Districts," 30 Nov. 2018 In that sense, a pistol and a popping champagne cork make noise in the same way. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Science of Russia's New Silent Sniper Rifle," 29 Aug. 2018 Image There are wine stoppers galore out there, and no lack of cutters to make short work of the foil that covers a wine bottle’s cork. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "A Wine Stopper That Does Double Duty," 9 July 2018 But the Bucks, Raptors and Pacers probably popped a few corks Sunday night anyway. David Haugh,, "LeBron James opens door in East — so now the Bulls must re-sign Zach LaVine," 2 July 2018 Mahogany casework and cork floors enhance the main floor, which holds a step-down living room, dining area and kitchen. Jack Flemming,, "‘Moonlight’ star Mahershala Ali snaps up L.A. home with contemporary allure," 13 June 2018 The renovation included replacing cork flooring with slate in the conversation pit. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "Revitalizing a Michigan Midcentury Marvel," 15 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Yet unlike France’s Champagne or Italy’s own Tuscany, the Franciacorta region is, in wine years, young; the first bottle of sparkler was corked in 1961. Emma O'kelly, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Guide to Franciacorta, Italy's Most Chill Wine Region," 22 Feb. 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near cork







cork-bark elm

Statistics for cork

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for cork

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

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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 \

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

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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

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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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