tuning fork



a steel instrument consisting of a stem with two prongs, producing a musical tone of definite, constant pitch when struck, and serving as a standard for tuning musical instruments, making acoustical experiments, and the like.

Nearby words

  1. tunica vaginalis testis,
  2. tunica vasculosa,
  3. tunicate,
  4. tunicle,
  5. tuning,
  6. tuning head,
  7. tuning key,
  8. tuning pipe,
  9. tunis,
  10. tunisia

Origin of tuning fork

First recorded in 1765–75

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tuning fork

British Dictionary definitions for tuning fork

tuning fork


a two-pronged metal fork that when struck produces a pure note of constant specified pitch. It is used to tune musical instruments and in acoustics
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 tuning fork

tuning fork


1799, from gerundive of tune (v.) + fork (n.). Invented 1711 by John Shore.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper