\ 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
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

Then, using a fork, whisk the eggs and the oil in the well, and begin gradually incorporating the mixture into the surrounding flour. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "How to Make Homemade Pasta Without a Machine," 7 Jan. 2019 Use a fork to poke a few holes through foil and into sweet potatoes. Lisa Ludwinski, WSJ, "Pies That Bind: Thanksgiving Recipes From the Heartland," 15 Nov. 2018 Brush over top of cake, then use a fork to score a crisscross pattern into the dough. Melissa Clark, The Seattle Times, "This French plum tart is a bit on the shy side," 11 Sep. 2018 Using two forks, open the foil seal along the top, allowing the steam to escape and preventing the salmon from overcooking. Blake Bakkila,, "3 Easy Summer Campfire Recipes Your Entire Family Will Enjoy," 22 June 2018 Add diced butter and cut in with a pastry blender, two forks or your fingers until mixture is combined and looks like large peas. Anna Thomas Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A recipe swap is still a great way to add to your collection," 23 May 2018 Remove the pork from the pot and use two forks to shred it, discarding any gristle. Jill Gibson,, "Recipe: Garbure, a hearty French soup of meat, beans, cabbage, and potatoes, is eaten year-round," 23 Apr. 2018 Implements Southern restaurants will give you a knife, a spoon and possibly two forks. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Difference Between Soul Food and Southern Cuisine, Explained," 12 Apr. 2018 Transfer pork to cutting board; shred with 2 forks, removing any large pieces of fat. Atlanta Life, ajc, "7 Day Menu Planner," 2 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After thinking it over, Mr. Robbins forked over the money and attended the seminar. Chris Kornelis, WSJ, "Tony Robbins Talks About His Best—and Worst—Financial Bets," 19 Oct. 2018 And the average American will fork over as much as $368 on a special, one-time experience. Fox News, "Americans treat themselves to $143G of indulgences over a lifetime, survey finds," 16 July 2018 Paying the bills are seriously ill residents who can never rely on insurance to help defray the costs, always forking over cash for limited strains of cannabis. Chris Goldstein,, "N.J. Assembly majority whip sitting out marijuana legalization | Philly 420," 23 Jan. 2018 Fans of tilapia, mussels, catfish, cod and roe will likely have to fork out more, as well as those who snack on almonds and macadamia nuts. Daniela Wei, The Seattle Times, "Winners and losers from Trump’s tariffs," 18 Sep. 2018 Without a high credit score, consumers have to fork out 99 yuan ($16) to test-drive selected Ford sedans and 198 yuan for other models including a Ford Mustang sports car. Liza Lin, WSJ, "To Buy a Car in China, Hit the Vending Machine," 5 Apr. 2018 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

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

11 Jan 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

: 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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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

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