\ 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 uphad 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

Antonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Using a fork, poke several holes in each potato, being careful not to poke yourself. Grace Wong,, "What’s the best pie crust for your holiday baking? We tasted 11 to find out," 4 Nov. 2019 Use a fork to stir together the butter and mustard until smooth. CBS News, "The Dish: Shauna Sever's recipes from the heartland," 26 Oct. 2019 Something tall and dramatic to be sliced and shared and eaten without forks or plates, a giant bowl of something rich and creamy eaten with several spoons at once. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Desserts that bring the party, but not the fuss," 21 Dec. 2019 Blessings Café, one of the many diners in Yeoville, is manned by Lucky Olabode, a former fork-lift truck driver from Delta State in Nigeria. The Economist, "Yeoville Hard times and hotplates in the most diverse district in Africa," 18 Dec. 2019 My great-uncle Charles was chased out of the Old Country for somehow producing forks that were always white-hot. Emma Allen, The New Yorker, "Not-to-Be-Missed Shouts of 2019," 16 Dec. 2019 There is a scrupulousness in his depiction of the queen’s inner sanctum, attention down to the last dessert fork. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "The Dramatic Detachment of The Crown," 12 Dec. 2019 Use the tines of a fork to press a decorative pattern all around the edge of each ma’amoul. Jessica Battilana,, "Repertoire: 3 irresistible recipes for your holiday cookie plate," 6 Dec. 2019 Take the fork to the left that dips down on a frozen creek/road (beware the potholes which might have a running creek underneath!) and continue west along the Devil’s Thumb Trail #902, always staying left as other trail options come up. Mindy Sink, The Know, "The best snowshoeing trails that are just a short drive from Denver," 6 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s an orange-y forked-tongue-red-tie-flappin’ tantrum-throwin’ feller in the supremely white White House who pretty much sucks the air out of the whole country. J.d. Crowe |, al, "Toon-twisted 2019: Laughs, cries, long red ties and lots of lies," 31 Dec. 2019 The new payday loans are much the same as the old payday loans—except that the high-tech gloss also means that in addition to money, users are forking over an immense amount of data. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "The New Payday Loan Looks a Lot Like the Old Payday Loan," 18 Dec. 2019 In 1935, Zietz forked over $25 to receive the state’s first liquor license following Prohibition. Josie Sexton, The Know, "Colorado’s 13 most iconic, historic restaurants and what to order when you’re there," 23 Oct. 2019 Because the scoreboards didn’t work as promised, the city had to fork out over $75,000 to replace them, the lawsuit alleged. Stephen Hudak,, "Apopka sues over malfunctioning scoreboards at Northwest Recreation Complex," 21 Oct. 2019 British Petroleum forked over $10,000 a day to flood Google with favorable search results and rebranded itself as BP. Alexander Sammon, The New Republic, "Oligarch of the Month: The Sacklers," 18 Oct. 2019 Unfortunately, whoever wins will have to fork out money for their own travel and accommodation to games. Ashley Boucher,, "Calling All Foodies! An NFL Food Taster Position Exists and the Application Is Open," 29 Aug. 2019 The agreement frees taxpayers from having to fork out the money for infrastructure. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "River Ranch development sets Dayton up for massive population growth," 2 Aug. 2019 Others have included Hollywood star Felicity Huffman, who served less than two weeks behind bars and forked over a $30,000 fine as punishment for paying a bribe to boost her daughter’s SAT score., "Ex-World Surf League official gets 2-month prison term in college scam case - The Boston Globe," 1 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for fork

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fork

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fork.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fork


How to pronounce fork (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fork

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fork

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


to insert between existing elements

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