Origin of fork

before 1000; Middle English forke, Old English forca < Latin furca fork, gallows, yoke
Related formsfork·less, adjectivefork·like, adjectiveun·fork, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for forking

bifurcate, angle, divide, diverge, part, split, divaricate

Examples from the Web for forking

Contemporary Examples of forking

Historical Examples of forking


British Dictionary definitions for forking

fork

noun

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)
  1. a division into two or more branches
  2. the point where the division begins
  3. such a branch
mainly US the main tributary of a river
chess a position in which two pieces are forked

verb

(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
Derived Formsforkful, noun

Word Origin for fork

Old English forca, from Latin furca
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for forking

fork

n.

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.

fork

v.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper