\ ˈfȯrk \

Definition of fork 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an implement with two or more prongs used especially for taking up (as in eating), pitching, or digging

2 : a forked part, tool, or piece of equipment

3a : a division into branches or the place where something divides into branches

b : confluence

4 : one of the branches into which something forks

5 : an attack by one chess piece (such as a knight) on two pieces simultaneously


forked; forking; forks

Definition of fork (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to divide into two or more branches where the road forks

2a : to use or work with a fork

b : to turn into a fork

transitive verb

1 : to give the form of a fork to forking her fingers

2 : to attack (two chessmen) simultaneously

3 : to raise, pitch, dig, or work with a fork fork hay

4 : pay, contribute used with over, out, or up had to fork over $5000

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Other words from fork


forkful \ˈfȯrk-ˌfu̇l \ noun


forker noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fork

Synonyms: Verb

branch (out), diverge, divide, part, separate, spread

Antonyms: Verb

converge, join

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Examples of fork in a Sentence


a fork in the road the north fork of the river the front fork of a bicycle


The road forks to the north and south. They forked the hay into the loft.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There's a farm-to-fork focus, including horchata made with organic rice grown in Lincoln, and vegan options soon to join a menu that's more vegetarian than the taqueria. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Taqueria Maya owners open Mexican restaurant with a millennial twist in railyard," 12 July 2018 Pulse the machine, or use a fork to gently moisten the flour until the mixture gathers into a ball. Jeanmarie Brownson, charlotteobserver, "Warm cheese meets fresh herbs in a happy springtime marriage," 19 June 2018 Use a fork to stir that egg-water mixture into the bowl, until just incorporated. Rebecca Powers,, "A German baker has taken pie art to a mesmerizing new level," 19 June 2018 Use a fork to stir together ½ cup of the sugar and all the cinnamon in a medium bowl, until well blended. Becky Krystal, Houston Chronicle, "This classic coffee cake is what good mornings are made of," 18 June 2018 Remove seeds and use a fork to shred the squash into spaghetti-like strands. Joan Elovitz Kazan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Breakfast in bed? These dads would rather be in the kitchen," 12 June 2018 Use a garden fork to dig under and lift the plant onto a tarp to carry it to the new location. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "How to Grow a Lilac Bush," 24 May 2018 To marina, picnic areas or wilderness trailhead: Pay entrance fees at kiosk and then continue ahead to a fork. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sunday getaway: Del Valle Regional Park," 29 Apr. 2018 Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Welcome springtime with these beautiful brunch recipes," 25 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Going from fishing pole to fork has given new life to the seemingly delicate piers. David Farley, WSJ, "Where to Feast on Italy’s Freshest Seafood? These Historic Piers," 10 July 2018 Whether that history, and Fulmer's recent trend upward in his past half-dozen starts, is enough to entice a contender to fork over high-end prospects is anyone's guess. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers bet on Michael Fulmer can pay off in ace or prospects," 9 July 2018 Instead of having to fork over cash at each entrance, tourists simply flash their pass and get in free of charge. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "The New Dubai Pass Is an All-Access Ticket to the City's Major Attractions," 2 May 2018 In 2009, the attendees had to fork out over $30,000 for the event, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit advocating for transparency, which published the invitation. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Trump questions if Mark Warner was 'near drunken state' when joked about revealing secrets of Russia probe," 26 June 2018 For those of you looking for the same sky-high length that the temporary procedure provides — without having to fork over half a month's rent — there are elongating mascaras that offer a similar effect. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "The 13 Best Lengthening Mascaras for Short Lashes," 7 June 2018 Brands looking to sponsor tables with special guest celebrities will have to fork out $275,000. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "What to Know About this Year's Met Gala," 7 May 2018 Easier yet: feeding the insistent pelicans urging you to fork over some of that fish food to them. Rosemary Mcclure,, "Hurricane Irma pounded the Florida Keys, but now they're back — some say better than ever," 29 Apr. 2018 In response, the Havasupai now station a ranger where their land meets National Park Service land, asking river runners to fork over $44 or else return to their rafts. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, "Sacred Native American Sites Are Not Your Playgrounds," 5 July 2018

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


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


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fork


Middle English forke, from Old English & Anglo-French; Old English forca & Anglo-French furke, from Latin furca

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Learn More about fork

Dictionary Entries near fork

for it






fork beam

Phrases Related to fork

speak/talk with (a) forked tongue

Statistics for fork

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fork

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

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More Definitions for fork



English Language Learners Definition of fork

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small tool with two or more pointed parts (called prongs or tines) used for picking up and eating food

: a garden tool with two or more prongs used for lifting and digging soil

: a place where something (such as a road or river) divides into two parts



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

of a road, river, etc. : to divide into two parts

: to pay or give (money)

: to lift or throw (something) with a fork


\ ˈfȯrk \

Kids Definition of fork

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an implement having a handle and two or more prongs for taking up (as in eating), pitching, or digging

2 : a forked part or tool

3 : the place where something divides or branches a fork in the road

4 : one of the parts into which something divides or branches the left fork


forked; forking

Kids Definition of fork (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to divide into branches Drive to where the road forks.

2 : to pitch or lift with a fork


\ ˈfȯ(ə)rk \

Medical Definition of fork 

1 : a forked part, tool, or piece of equipment — see tuning fork

2 : the lower part of the human body where the legs diverge from the trunk usually including the legs

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Comments on fork

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