[ fawrk ]
See synonyms for: forkforkedforkingforks on

  1. 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.

  2. something resembling or suggesting this in form.

  1. Machinery. yoke1 (def. 9).

  2. a division into branches.

  3. 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.

  4. either of the branches into which a thing divides.

  5. Horology. (in a lever escapement) the forked end of the lever engaging with the ruby pin.

  6. a principal tributary of a river.

  7. the support of the front wheel axles of a bicycle or motorcycle, having the shape of a two-pronged fork.

  8. the barbed head of an arrow.

verb (used with object)
  1. to pierce, raise, pitch, dig, etc., with a fork.

  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.

  2. 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.

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

before 1000; Middle English forke,Old English forca<Latin furca fork, gallows, yoke

Other words from fork

  • forkless, adjective
  • forklike, 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

  • To the strangers, also, were given the spoons and forks, but the want of them did not appear to incommode the Brazilians.

  • The knives and forks had white and black horn handles, with notched blades, and broken prongs.

  • Although the table-cloth and the napkins were of fine damask, the knives were of a common sort, and the forks of steel.

    Skipper Worse | Alexander Lange Kielland
  • The boots were hung in the forks of a clump of willows, where they could easily be found on their return.

  • I asked him once why the Europeans eat with knives and forks, and spoons, instead of with their fingers, which God had given them.

    Confessions of a Thug | Philip Meadows Taylor

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