\ ˈfȯrk How to pronounce fork (audio) \

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
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 How to pronounce forkful (audio) \ 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

Shred meat using two forks; discard bones, skin, and fat. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Oven-Roasted Pulled Pork with Sweet-and-Spicy Sauce," 10 Aug. 2018 The act protects sections of 22 other California streams, representing only 1% of the state’s river miles, including the Merced, Feather, Eel, Trinity, Smith, Kern, Klamath and two forks of the American River. Brian E. Clark,, "Relaxing a little on a rafting adventure trip on the wild Tuolumne River," 8 Apr. 2018 Use two forks to shred the roast pork into bite-size pieces. Alex Van Buren, idahostatesman, "Instant Pot vs. Dutch oven: Which makes better food? | Idaho Statesman," 22 Feb. 2018 Using two forks is the easiest way to shred/pull the mushrooms. Bonnie S. Benwick, The Denver Post, "Fire up your summer with recipes from the season’s new grilling cookbooks," 24 June 2019 Set the beef on the sheet, then use two forks to gently spread the meat. Christopher Kimball,, "Recipes: The secret to a perfect burger," 18 June 2019 Remove the pan from the oven and shred the pork with two forks, letting the meat fall into the fat and juices in the pan. Krystyna Chávez, Marie Claire, "9 Easy Kentucky Derby Recipe Ideas You Can Whip Up In No Time," 3 May 2019 Using 2 forks, dip each doughnut in chocolate, tapping off any excess, then transfer to a wire rack to set. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Black Cat, Bat, Spider, and Mice Doughnuts," 2 Oct. 2018 Transfer chicken to a cutting board and shred into large pieces with 2 forks or spoons; season with salt. Chris Morocco, Bon Appetit, "Braised Chicken and Spinach Soup with Pita Chips," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The offer has been deemed 'unsatisfactory', however, with Milan holding out for at least €25m, after forking out €38m to sign him in the first place., "Transfer Rumours: Man Utd Back for Diop, Arsenal Get Saliba Blow, West Ham Bid for Rondon & More," 3 July 2019 While some robocalls are legally placed by political campaigns, debt collectors, doctor’s offices and more, many are made by scammers, hoping to get your personal information or otherwise trick you into forking over cash. Patrick Lucas Austin, Time, "This New App Promises to Block Robocalls Forever. But Should We Have to Pay for That?," 27 June 2019 More than a number consists of a collection of disparately proportioned boxy white blocks painted with forking blue streaks suggestive of tree branches. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "These Engaging, Immersive Works Erase the Line Between Art and Audience," 19 June 2019 Early work suggested that sponges were the most simple, ancient offshoot of the animal family tree, with comb jellies later forking from the line that yielded jellyfish and, eventually, us. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "Spectacular new fossil bonanza captures explosion of early life," 21 Mar. 2019 Attendants overturned the chair of anyone who dared take a seat without forking over a nickel. Clyde Haberman, New York Times, "America’s Most Famous Street," 30 Apr. 2018 Babai has now figured out how to make the subroutine call itself without forking into two branches at each step. Quanta Magazine, "Graph Isomorphism Vanquished — Again," 14 Jan. 2017 But dilemmas come at you like a road that never stops forking. Michelle Santiago Cortés,, "We Tried Being Beyoncé's Assistant & Didn't Make It Through The Day," 25 June 2019 And that's basically why anyone would be willing to fork over two thousand bucks for the privilege of owning the Fold. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "First looks at the Samsung Galaxy Fold are equal parts awe, surprise, and crease concerns," 15 Apr. 2019

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

Statistics for fork

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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
informal : to pay or give (money)
: to lift or throw (something) with a fork


\ ˈfȯrk How to pronounce fork (audio) \

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 How to pronounce fork (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on fork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fork

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fork

Spanish Central: Translation of fork

Nglish: Translation of fork for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fork for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fork

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characterized by aphorism

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