- an instrument having two or more prongs or tines, for holding, lifting, etc., as an implement for handling food or any of various agricultural tools.
- something resembling or suggesting this in form.
- tuning fork.
- Machinery. yoke1(def 9).
- a division into branches.
- the point or part at which a thing, as a river or a road, divides into branches: Bear left at the fork in the road.
- either of the branches into which a thing divides.
- Horology. (in a lever escapement) the forked end of the lever engaging with the ruby pin.
- a principal tributary of a river.
- the support of the front wheel axles of a bicycle or motorcycle, having the shape of a two-pronged fork.
- the barbed head of an arrow.
- to pierce, raise, pitch, dig, etc., with a fork.
- to make into the form of a fork.
- Chess. to maneuver so as to place (two opponent's pieces) under simultaneous attack by the same piece.
- Digital Technology to copy (the source code) from a piece of software and develop a new version independently, with the result of producing two unique pieces of software.
- to divide into branches: Turn left where the road forks.
- to turn as indicated at a fork in a road, path, etc.: Fork left and continue to the top of the hill.
- fork over/out/up, Informal. to hand over; deliver; pay: Fork over the money you owe me!
Origin of fork
- a small usually metal implement consisting of two, three, or four long thin prongs on the end of a handle, used for lifting food to the mouth or turning it in cooking, etc
- an agricultural tool consisting of a handle and three or four metal prongs, used for lifting, digging, etc
- a pronged part of any machine, device, etc
- (of a road, river, etc)
- a division into two or more branches
- the point where the division begins
- such a branch
- mainly US the main tributary of a river
- chess a position in which two pieces are forked
- (tr) to pick up, dig, etc, with a fork
- (tr) chess to place (two enemy pieces) under attack with one of one's own pieces, esp a knight
- (tr) to make into the shape of a fork
- (intr) to be divided into two or more branches
- to take one or other branch at a fork in a road, river, etc
Word Origin and History for fork over
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.
Idioms and Phrases with fork over
Also, fork out or up. Hand over, pay up. For example, It's time you forked over what you owe, or He forked out a hundred for that meal, or Fork up or we'll sue. [Slang; early 1800s]