\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fork


forkful \ ˈfȯrk-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce fork (audio) \ noun


forker noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for fork

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fork in a Sentence

Noun a fork in the road the north fork of the river the front fork of a bicycle Verb The road forks to the north and south. They forked the hay into the loft.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Using tongs, a fork or your hands, dip a piece of bread in the liquid mixture and coat on both sides. Laura Wheatman Hill,, "How to make French toast," 28 Feb. 2021 The notion of Carl Franklin’s Devil in a Blue Dress being a hit feels like a fork in the road moment for Denzel Washington and Hollywood. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "Easy Rawlins TV Show May Succeed Where Denzel Washington’s ‘Devil In A Blue Dress’ Stumbled," 24 Feb. 2021 Mash the feta and tomatoes with a fork and mix until evenly combined. Aaron Hutcherson, Anchorage Daily News, "TikTok’s viral baked tomato and feta pasta is worth the hype," 13 Feb. 2021 After a few somber minutes, a chain was strung between the Achilles tendon and bone of her hind legs, and she was hoisted up on the hay fork of a tractor. Dallas News, "Becoming a ‘conscious carnivore’: Texas bison harvest shows meat-eaters how to honor the animal," 5 Oct. 2020 The question of whether the president has needed consistent supplemental oxygen is crucial: Requiring such treatment is seen as a fork in the road between a mild infection and a more severe one. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "What President Trump’s emergency COVID-19 therapies say about his condition," 5 Oct. 2020 In the highway there was a fork in the road to Kemerovo and Tomsk. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, "Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, comatose in a Berlin with suspected poisoning, was under covert surveillance, Russian media reports," 23 Aug. 2020 And with that, Saint Peter Damian closed the book on the fork in Europe for the next four hundred years. Amy Azzarito, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ten Surprising Facts About Everyday Household Objects," 3 Apr. 2020 Continue cooking, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is fork-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Soup and a sandwich, the classic combo, becomes so much more with a warming hit of spice," 15 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hijinks ensue when Baby Yoda doesn’t know which fork to use. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "Every Show Should Have at Least One Episode With Fred Melamed," 15 Jan. 2021 And although the city will have to fork over some cash, Bernard said taxpayers will be spared because there will be fewer arrests, fewer convictions, and less violence. Omar Abdel-baqui, Detroit Free Press, "Law enforcement in 2021: From terror plots to surveillance tech, here's what's ahead," 17 Jan. 2021 Dug in four phases starting in 1958, the channel would fork off from the Intracoastal in eastern New Orleans and continue southeastwardly for 40 miles through St. Bernard Parish to Breton Sound. Richard Campanella,, "acquisition of 1,100 acres," 1 Jan. 2021 Some 330,000 people fork out around $25,000 annually to access Bloomberg’s suite of services: financial-market data; graphing and pricing tools; the ability to chat with other market participants. The Economist, "Go figure Meet the data firms cashing in on the quant-investing boom," 5 Dec. 2020 Why are retailers willing to fork over the extra money? Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, "Why Is There Financing for Everything Now?," 21 Dec. 2020 Any trees whose trunks fork into two leaders need attention. Dan Gill,, "For healthy oaks, don't grind down ground-level roots; instead, add more soil to cover them," 9 Dec. 2020 The story picks up with the older J.D. at Yale, interviewing for positions with snooty law firms and feeling conspicuously out of place alongside the blue-blooded, legacy candidates, who know which fork to use. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Hillbilly Elegy' turns J.D. Vance's memoir into a dreary movie," 24 Nov. 2020 Then taxpayers will likely have to fork out more money to remedy the discrimination inflicted on people like Maria Garcia and her Revolución Coffee House. WSJ, "Oregon Lawmakers Ignore Oregon, U.S. Law," 15 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fork

Time Traveler for fork Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fork

Last Updated

8 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fork

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fork

Nglish: Translation of fork for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fork for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fork

What made you want to look up fork? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!