\ 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

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 This piece, co-commissioned by the Oregon Symphony, is influenced by folk music, sacred hymns from Germany, and the pandemic. oregonlive, 10 Jan. 2022 The 32nd annual Folk & Heritage Festival will continue the celebration of folk music, its history and culture at historic Sahuaro Ranch Park. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 9 Jan. 2022 Though a harvest meal did occur in the fall of 1621 at Plymouth, the event is taught as a folk tale that greatly misrepresents the historical context of that time and excludes Indigenous perspectives. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2021 In this world premiere production from TBA Theatre, a folk tale turns frighteningly real when three families are terrorized by a vengeful spirit summoned by young girls dabbling with powers beyond their control. Anchorage Daily News, 28 Oct. 2021 The name Moon Rabbit comes from a traditional Chinese folk tale. Jill Griffin, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 Jayatissa incorporates elements of a classic Sri Lankan folk tale about a ghost named Mohini, a terrifying creature who stitches together the story’s double narrative and elevates the fright level. Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2021 Also represented is a display on Sones de Mexico, a folk music ensemble from Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, that includes a donkey’s jawbone, a percussion instrument known as a quijada that creates a strong, rattle-like buzzing sound. Jeremy Gorner,, 26 Nov. 2021 But then, there are moments where the piano is played like the banjo, lines that sound a little more like American folk music. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, 24 Nov. 2021 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, 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,, 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, 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,, 26 Aug. 2017 Classical musicians usually refer to their instrument as a violin, and most folk players call it a fiddle. Michael Austin,, 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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Time Traveler for folk

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

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Folk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for folk



English Language Learners Definition of folk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: people in general
used to talk to a group of people in a friendly and informal way
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on folk

Nglish: Translation of folk for Spanish Speakers

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


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