- Usually folks. (used with a plural verb) people in general: Folks say there wasn't much rain last summer.
- Often folks. (used with a plural verb) people of a specified class or group: country folk; poor folks.
- (used with a plural verb) people as the carriers of culture, especially as representing the composite of social mores, customs, forms of behavior, etc., in a society: The folk are the bearers of oral tradition.
- folks, Informal.
- members of one's family; one's relatives: All his folks come from France.
- one's parents: Will your folks let you go?
- Archaic. a people or tribe.
- of or originating among the common people: folk beliefs; a folk hero.
- having unknown origins and reflecting the traditional forms of a society: folk culture; folk art.
- just folks, Informal. (of persons) simple, unaffected, unsophisticated, or open-hearted people: He enjoyed visiting his grandparents because they were just folks.
Origin of folk
SynonymsSee more synonyms for folk on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for folk
Phonetic, made-up lyrics are another venerable tradition of folk music, and “pa-rum-pa-pa-pum” is iconic of the genre.Yes, I Like Christmas Music. Stop Laughing.
December 24, 2014
The folk memory of medieval community life had been wiped out by the industrial revolution.How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas
December 22, 2014
At this point, he became Tom Sawyer, letting his musical compatriots—and the folk tradition—help paint his musical fence.Digging the Gold in Dylan’s ‘Basement’
November 5, 2014
I moved to Washington in 1988 with the folk etymology of lobbyist firmly in mind.Up to a Point: In Defense of Lobbyists
P. J. O’Rourke
October 25, 2014
And on the other are the folk, numbers unknown, who would pretty much say to Alexander, WTF are you talking about?Eben Alexander Has a GPS for Heaven
October 8, 2014
On most Sundays doth he preach here in the nave to all sorts of folk.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
But see the church in the hollow, and the folk who cluster in the churchyard!The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
But it was much that the subdued English folk appeared there at all.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
The Tiverton folk saluted them, always cordially, yet each after his kind.Meadow Grass
Carlow folk held up their heads when journalism was mentioned.The Gentleman From Indiana
- (functioning as plural; often plural in form) people in general, esp those of a particular group or classcountry folk
- (functioning as plural; usually plural in form) informal members of a family
- (functioning as singular) informal short for folk music
- a people or tribe
- (modifier) relating to, originating from, or traditional to the common people of a countrya folk song
Word Origin and History for folk
Old English folc "common people, laity; men; people, nation, tribe; multitude; troop, army," from Proto-Germanic *folkom (cf. Old Frisian folk, Middle Dutch volc, German Volk "people"), from Proto-Germanic *fulka-, perhaps originally "host of warriors;" cf. Old Norse folk "people," also "army, detachment;" and Lithuanian pulkas "crowd," Old Church Slavonic pluku "division of an army," both believed to have been borrowed from Proto-Germanic. Old English folcstede could mean both "dwelling-place" and "battlefield."
Some have attempted to link the word to Greek plethos "multitude;" Latin plebs "people, mob," populus "people" or vulgus; OED and Klein discount this theory but it is accepted in Watkins. The plural form has been usual since 17c. Superseded in most senses by people. Old English folc was commonly used in forming compounds, such as folccwide "popular saying," folcgemot "town or district meeting;" folcwoh "deception of the public." Folk-etymology is attested from 1890.
By Folk-etymology is meant the influence exercised upon words, both as to their form and meaning, by the popular use and misuse of them. In a special sense, it is intended to denote the corruption which words undergo, owing either to false ideas about their derivation, or to a mistaken analogy with other words to which they are supposed to be related. [The Rev. A. Smythe Palmer, "Folk-Etymology," 1890]
Idioms and Phrases with folk
see just folks.