\ ˈfōk How to pronounce folk (audio) \
plural folk or folks

Definition of folk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 folk or folks plural : people generally
2 folk or folks plural : a certain kind, class, or group of people old folks just plain folk country folk media folk
3 folks plural : the persons of one's own family especially : parents
4 : folk music
5 : the great proportion of the members of a people that determines the group character and that tends to preserve its characteristic form of civilization and its customs, arts and crafts, legends, traditions, and superstitions from generation to generation
6 archaic : a group of kindred tribes forming a nation : people

Definition of folk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : originating or traditional with the common people of a country or region and typically reflecting their lifestyle folk hero folk music
2 : of or relating to the common people or to the study of the common people folk sociology

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Examples of folk in a Sentence

Noun Folks say that house is haunted. Some folks think the law should be changed. a home for old folks the distinctive speech of folks from the South I'll be spending the holidays with my folks. His folks gave him everything a kid could want.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Since taking over for Scharf as CEO of the nonprofit folk-music association in 2015, Lhevine has seen Swallow Hill’s annual reach extend from about 142,000 to 177,000 people. John Wenzel, The Know, "Denver folk institution Swallow Hill Music turns 40," 8 Nov. 2019 The main ingredient in patidegib had emerged, like some shaggy, half-mythical folk hero, from the mountains of the West. Eric Boodman, STAT, "Leave a Comment," 23 Oct. 2019 The story of her ever-growing brand, The Vampire’s Wife, which began in a tiny room by the sea, likewise has the magic lure of a folk tale—starting with the name. Vogue, "The Vampire’s Wife’s Susie Cave Launches Her Latest Collection With the Help of Some Very Fabulous Friends," 22 Oct. 2019 The Witch was a horror film that unfolded like a folk tale, a creepy portrayal of a Puritan family living in the woods and being tormented by demonic forces. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Lighthouse Takes You to the Hellish Ends of the Earth," 18 Oct. 2019 But for me, all of my songs are just folk-rock material. Hector Saldana,, "Steve Forbert’s tunes still connect 40 years later," 15 Oct. 2019 Adding more magic to this already fabulous musical film adaptation of the Cinderella folk tale, Idina Menzel is looking to join the mix as the evil stepmother, Evelyn, EW has learned. Nick Romano,, "Idina Menzel in talks to join Billy Porter's fairy godmother in Cinderella movie musical," 11 Oct. 2019 Kare even created some whimsical graphics to reduce the stress and anxiety of us common folk, many of whom were using computers for the first time. David Kindy, Smithsonian, "How Susan Kare Designed User-Friendly Icons for the First Macintosh," 9 Oct. 2019 Torii Hunter threw the ceremonial first pitch to Joe Mauer, local folk-rock heroes Trampled by Turtles sang the national anthem and there was bunting in the upper decks. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: Twins still can’t figure out this October thing," 8 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Merrifield sought instead to explore folk magic through the material objects that the practitioners themselves had left behind. Geoff Manaugh, The New Yorker, "Witch Houses of the Hudson Valley," 31 Oct. 2019 This year, the event will feature more folk dancing groups, Plevrakis said, and guests can enjoy a DJ on Friday and Sunday, plus a live band on Saturday. Christine Condon,, "'Sense-driven' Bel Air Greek Festival this weekend to feature folk-dancing, new desserts," 13 June 2019 After Carly and Martina, indie band Half-Alive and folk musician Liza Anne finished off the series for the day. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Emerging Artist Series performers infuse youthful energy and soul into Summerfest," 3 July 2018 Programs such as soccer matches, a live animal show, free kids' activities, a book fair, folk art, and crafts, souvenirs and novelty items for sale will round out the festivities. Mark Holan/special To,, "Hungarian Festival is largest in Ohio: Sun Postings," 26 Aug. 2017 Classical musicians usually refer to their instrument as a violin, and most folk players call it a fiddle. Michael Austin,, "Syrah is like a violin, and shiraz is like a fiddle (but sometimes not)," 20 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'folk.' 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 folk


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for folk


Middle English, from Old English folc; akin to Old High German folc people

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Statistics for folk

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for folk

The first known use of folk was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for folk


How to pronounce folk (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of folk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly US, informal : people in general
used to talk to a group of people in a friendly and informal way
informal : a certain kind of people

English Language Learners Definition of folk (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to the common people of a country or region


\ ˈfōk How to pronounce folk (audio) \
plural folk or folks

Kids Definition of folk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : persons of a certain kind or group the old folk rich folks
2 folks plural : people in general Most folks agree with me.
3 folks plural : family members and especially parents

Kids Definition of folk (Entry 2 of 2)

: created by the common people a folk dance folk music

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More from Merriam-Webster on folk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for folk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with folk

Spanish Central: Translation of folk

Nglish: Translation of folk for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on folk

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


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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