\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

Techniques for cleansing with sound range from something as simple as ringing a bell or using tuning forks, to a meditative singing bowl practice. Alyssa Nassner, Curbed, "Cleansing 101: Keeping your home’s energy in check," 17 Oct. 2018 Now those companies will also be able to sell modified versions—called forks—that may not be compatible with official apps. Sam Schechner, WSJ, "Google Will Charge Phone Makers to Pre-Install Apps in Europe," 16 Oct. 2018 Transfer pork to bowl and use 2 forks to shred, then toss with 1/2 cup cooking liquid, adding more if pork seems dry. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Citrusy Shredded Pork," 24 Apr. 2018 Add some score marks on the dough with a fork before baking to make the empanadas look like little footballs for extra fun. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "12 Super Bowl Party Ideas for People Who Care More About the Schmoozing Than the Football," 2 Feb. 2018 Add the raspberries and mix with a fork, lightly crushing the berries but trying to leave some larger chunks. Adam Ried,, "Recipes: Fill your home with the aroma of cinnamon swirl bread," 15 June 2018 Of course, normally North Korean officials will collect every object Kim Jong Un has touched — plates, forks, pens, napkins — to avoid leaving any genetic material behind. Suyin Haynes, Time, "Six Things We Learned About the Trump-Kim Summit From the Reddit AMA with TIME's Charlie Campbell," 7 June 2018 Using a dipping tool or a fork, dip cookies into chocolate one at a time until completely coated. Abigail Wilt, ajc, "3 no-bake cookie recipes you'll love," 10 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The architects designed the 3,200-square-foot house around a central node that forks into three separate arms, each with a large window and distinct view. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Concrete house blends into the woods with black exterior, green roof," 10 Aug. 2018 This, by design, makes switching to forked Android a terrifying prospect to any established Android OEM. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary," 21 July 2018 Teachers are asked to fork over more of their paychecks to keep their health coverage, even as budget cuts impel them to use their own money for classroom supplies and to crowdsource money to buy computers. Emmarie Huetteman, USA TODAY, "Unwieldy health costs often stand between teachers and higher pay," 13 June 2018 The brand’s found another use for the data its customers are forking over with every style survey and interaction: private-label brands (clothes actually made by Stitch Fix). Cam Wolf, GQ, "Stitch Fix Thinks It Can Hack Your Style," 29 May 2018 By exiting China, Russia and Southeast Asia while retaining stakes in its former competitors, Uber will benefit from the industry’s global growth without needing to fork over more cash, Mr. Kulkarni said. New York Times, "Uber’s Exit From Southeast Asia Upsets Regulators and Drivers," 28 May 2018 Some traveled to the island to recruit workers but came back largely empty-handed, while others forked over up to $2,000 per worker to recruiters to find Puerto Rican employees. Katie Johnston,, "Homeland Security releases 15,000 additional H-2B visas," 25 May 2018 The smiles on the two men’s faces, and the customers willing to fork over $11, hardly betrayed the grave issues at stake. Victoria Kim,, "Kim arrives in Singapore for historic meeting with Trump, 'unknown territory' in the world of diplomacy," 10 June 2018 Where can Philly families get in on the action without forking over big bucks? Mónica Marie Zorilla,, "45 affordable summer camps for kids," 5 June 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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Dictionary Entries near fork

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fork beam

Statistics for fork

Last Updated

15 Nov 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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