\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fork


forkful \ ˈfȯrk-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce forkful (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 Grasp one end of the skewer and use your fork to push everything onto the plate, where it may then be eaten in the normal way. Judith Martin, Washington Post, "Miss Manners: Train commuter unsure of etiquette," 6 Nov. 2019 Oh, look, Sam Affleck has the meatball on his fork. Claudia Harmata,, "Jennifer Garner Reveals the Creative Game She Plays with Her Kids to Get Them to Try New Foods," 11 Sep. 2019 Unlike Android’s mobile operating system, manufacturers aren’t allowed to modify or customize Android TV like OnePlus does with its OxygenOS Android fork. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Upcoming OnePlus TVs will run Android, new listing suggests," 7 Aug. 2019 This cake, with its tart bite of rosemary lemon curd between moist, dense layers (a great, heavy wad stuck to my fork when held upside-down), and light-handed lacquer of buttercream was, in this world of overstuffed whoopie pies, simple perfection. Amy Drew Thompson,, "“Sette" it off: Stellar service, serious portions in the Ivanhood | Review," 17 July 2019 Strawberry shortcake lovers should grab their forks and mark their calendars for next week's 54th annual Indy Strawberry Festival. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Indy Strawberry Festival bringing strawberry shortcakes back to Monument Circle on June 13," 6 June 2019 Dear Carolyn: For the umpteenth time, my stepdaughter and her family arrived 45 minutes late for a family gathering, disrupting others who were just picking up their forks to eat dinner. Carolyn Hax, al, "Carolyn Hax: Is always late stepdaughter disorganized or a drama queen?," 2 May 2019 Remove your front wheel and mount your front fork to the climb. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "PM Approved: Kickr Smart Bike Trainer," 29 Jan. 2019 Anyone is free to take it, clone the source, and create their own fork or alternate version. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary," 21 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The company is constantly fine-tuning and adding new benefits for Prime members, who fork over $119 a year. Doreen Christensen,, "10 secret Amazon Prime benefits you may not know about," 12 Nov. 2019 Foreign governments expressed little interest in forking over $20 a square foot for exhibit space. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The world’s fair that never was: In 1950, D.C. almost got the amazing Freedom Fair," 28 Sep. 2019 Clowney will not have the franchise placed on him in 2020 as part of the trade, while the Texans are paying him a $7 million signing bonus, with Seattle forking over the remaining $8 million owed him this season. Scooby Axson,, "Jadeveon Clowney: Former Texans Teammate Duane Brown Helped Sell Him on Seahawks," 3 Sep. 2019 Following a summer of mainly defensive reinforcement, there is now the chance for the Brazilian to go right ahead and go some way (let's be fair) to repaying the £52m that was forked out for him., "Fred: Why Manchester United Must Give the £52m Brazilian a Chance to Shine," 9 Sep. 2019 As long as the monopoly doesn’t lead to us forking out more money, then antitrust regulators traditionally leave it alone. Tim O'reilly, Quartz, "Antitrust regulators are using the wrong tools to break up Big Tech," 17 July 2019 Time After a summer of record-high avocado prices, consumers are now forking over less green for the fatty fruit. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "It's not your imagination. Chipotle's guacamole is different and avocado prices are down," 14 Sep. 2019 Unai Emery's side forked out £15m to bring the playmaker to the Emirates Stadium for 2019/20, securing his services despite interest from a number of other clubs., "Dani Ceballos Talks Love for Arsenal, Frustrations With Real Madrid & Which Club Is Bigger," 12 Sep. 2019 In order to care for both an infant and 4-year-old in Connecticut, a family would have to fork over $28,232, which the think tank found is over 50 percent more than the average cost of rent in the state. Shannon Larson,, "Connecticut among the most expensive states when it comes to child care, research shows," 31 July 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.

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

Statistics for fork

Last Updated

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for fork

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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