\ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Champagne corks ought to be popping as leaders of the world's most powerful military alliance meet outside London this week. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "The most powerful destabilizing force facing NATO today," 3 Dec. 2019 Look for handmade cork pouches, which can be used as a cosmetics case or a wallet, and make the perfect gift. Hannah Seligson, Town & Country, "What to Do, See, Eat, and Shop For in Lisbon, Portugal," 25 Nov. 2019 Popping corks with live shrimp or the Vudu shrimp are also effective. Frank Sargeant, al, "Friday Fishing Report: What’s working now on Alabama waters?," 22 Nov. 2019 By midnight, triumphant easterners had climbed on top of the wall in the heart of the city, popping champagne corks and setting off fireworks in celebration. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "The Fall of the Berlin Wall in Photos: An Accident of History That Changed The World," 10 Nov. 2019 Dan Loeb’s team is unlikely to be popping champagne corks over Sony’s decision to sell its stake in Olympus Corp. Investors in Japan have reason to put a few crates of bubbly on ice, though. Tim Culpan | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "A Small Step for Sony, a Big Win for Japan," 30 Aug. 2019 Made in Rhode Island, these cork-and-marble coasters can also feature a special message from you to yours. Meghan Kavanaugh, USA TODAY, "25 personalized gift ideas for every type of person," 15 Oct. 2019 At the ice front, the glaciers fill the deep fjords like huge ice corks in a bottle. Jonathan Nackstrand, National Geographic, "Greenland's melting ice may affect everyone's future," 15 Oct. 2019 In this undated handout photo provided by The Ocean Clean Up, plastic is retained in front of an extended cork line in the Pacific Ocean. Mike Corder, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dutch inventor says his ocean cleaning boom is working," 2 Oct. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for cork

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cork

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Cork.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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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

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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

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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