\ 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 Widespread acclaim for his talents as a lyricist and Southern folk and rock musician. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Here are Alabama’s 2020 Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2020 While his repertoire can run to sea shanties, folk standards, Irish ditties and patriotic songs dating back to the Civil War, Callinan is no stranger to topical songs. Christopher Arnott,, "Connecticut’s Tom Callinan bids an unfond farewell to 2020 with new song," 29 Dec. 2020 But despite the premise, the pop star and indie folk favorite are creatively in sync, her raw lyrics supported by his transcendent arrangements. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Songs of 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 The folk-country balladeer started his music career playing small clubs in Chicago while holding a day job as a mailman. oregonlive, "The departed: Heroes, celebrities and rogues, from Oregon and beyond, who died in 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 Sue, a writer and folk painter known for her hospitality, exuded a quieter warmth and anchored her spouse. Rachel Hutton, Star Tribune, "Together in life and death: Minnesota couples battle COVID-19," 27 Dec. 2020 The folk assembly needed the permit to convert the residence back to a church. NBC News, "After permit approved for whites-only church, small Minnesota town insists it isn't racist," 22 Dec. 2020 Director Justin Kurzel, who made the spellbinding 2015 Macbeth starring Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, and Paddy Considine, takes on the Australian criminal and folk hero Ned Kelly (played by George MacKay), applying similar audacity. Armond White, National Review, "2020’s Great Gangsta Epic," 18 Dec. 2020 The two-story house, built with wooden frames, is an example of folk Victorian architecture. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Nonprofit group deems five historic sites across county “endangered”," 17 Dec. 2020 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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Time Traveler for folk

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for folk

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Folk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on folk

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