verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of fork
Related Words for fork outappoint, distribute, grant, give, allocate, determine, allot, designate, reward, confer, bestow, donate, assign, present, participate, unearth, search, shovel, drill, dredge
fork over or fork up
- a division into two or more branches
- the point where the division begins
- such a branch
Word Origin for fork
Old English forca "forked instrument used by torturers," a Germanic borrowing (cf. Old Norse forkr) from Latin furca "pitchfork; fork used in cooking," of uncertain origin.
Table forks were not generally used in England until 15c. The word is first attested in this sense in English in a will of 1463, probably from Old North French forque (Old French furche, Modern French fourche), from the Latin word. Of rivers, from 1753; of roads, from 1839.
"to divide in branches, go separate ways" (early 14c.), from fork (n.). Related: Forked; forking. The slang verb phrase fork up (or out) "give over" is from 1831.