[ fawrk ]
See synonyms for: forkforkedforkingforks on

    • an instrument having two or more prongs or tines, for holding, lifting, etc., such as a utensil for handling food or any of various agricultural tools.

    • something resembling or suggesting this in form.

  1. a division into branches or the point where this division occurs: Bear left at the fork in the road.There’s a fork in the decision-making process for these two types of problem.

  1. either of the branches into which a thing divides: The right fork will also get you to our farm, but by a longer route.

  2. a principal tributary of a river.

  3. Machinery. yoke1 (def. 9).

  4. Horology. (in a lever escapement) the divided end of the lever engaging with the ruby pin.

  5. the support of the front wheel axles of a bicycle or motorcycle, having two parallel prongs.

  6. the barbed head of an arrow.

verb (used with object)
  1. to pierce, raise, pitch, dig, etc., with a fork: I forked 50 bales into the hay wagon today.If you fork your lawn, the soil will absorb water more readily.

  2. to make into the form of a fork.

  1. Chess. to maneuver so as to place (two opponent's pieces) under simultaneous attack by the same piece: She managed to fork my rook and queen, and I lost the rook.

  2. Computers. to copy the source code from (a piece of software) and develop a new version independently, resulting in two unique pieces of software: They forked the app and added another module.

verb (used without object)
  1. to divide into branches: Turn left where the road forks.

  2. to turn as indicated at a fork in a road, path, etc.: Fork left and continue to the top of the hill.

Verb Phrases
  1. fork over / out / up Informal. to hand over; deliver; pay: Fork over the money you owe me!

Origin of fork

First recorded before 1000; Middle English forke, Old English forca, from Latin furca fork, gallows, yoke

Other words from fork

  • fork·less, adjective
  • fork·like, adjective
  • un·fork, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use fork in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fork


/ (fɔːk) /

  1. 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

  2. an agricultural tool consisting of a handle and three or four metal prongs, used for lifting, digging, etc

  1. a pronged part of any machine, device, etc

  2. (of a road, river, etc)

    • a division into two or more branches

    • the point where the division begins

    • such a branch

  3. mainly US the main tributary of a river

  4. chess a position in which two pieces are forked

  1. (tr) to pick up, dig, etc, with a fork

  2. (tr) chess to place (two enemy pieces) under attack with one of one's own pieces, esp a knight

  1. (tr) to make into the shape of a fork

  2. (intr) to be divided into two or more branches

  3. to take one or other branch at a fork in a road, river, etc

Origin of fork

Old English forca, from Latin furca

Derived forms of fork

  • forkful, noun

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