A fork used as an eating utensil.
- An example of a fork is what people stick into a piece of meat to pick it up to eat it.
- An example of a fork is a dead end street with a left and a right turn.
- an instrument of greatly varying size with a handle at one end and two or more pointed prongs at the other: forks are variously used as eating utensils and for pitching hay, breaking up soil, etc.
- something resembling a fork in shape: tuning fork
- a division into branches; bifurcation
- the point where a river, road, etc. is divided into two or more branches, or where branches join to form a river, road, etc.
- any of these branches
Origin of forkMiddle English forke from Old English forca and Anglo-French forque (Fr fourche), both from Classical Latin furca, two-pronged fork
- to make into the shape of a fork
- to pick up, spear, or pitch with a fork
- Chess to attack (two chessmen) simultaneously with a single chessman
- A utensil with two or more prongs, used for eating or serving food.
- An implement with two or more prongs used for raising, carrying, piercing, or digging.
- a. A bifurcation or separation into two or more branches or parts.b. The point at which such a bifurcation or separation occurs: a fork in a road.c. One of the branches of such a bifurcation or separation: the right fork. See Synonyms at branch.
- Games An attack by one chess piece on two pieces at the same time.
verbforked, fork·ing, forks
- To raise, carry, pitch, or pierce with a fork.
- To give the shape of a fork to (one's fingers, for example).
- Games To launch an attack on (two chess pieces).
- Informal To pay. Used with over, out, or up: forked over $80 for front-row seats; forked up the money owed.
- To divide into two or more branches: The river forks here.
- a. To use a fork, as in working.b. To turn at or travel along a fork.
Origin of forkMiddle English forke digging fork from Old English forca and from Old North French forque both from Latin furca
- A pronged tool having a long straight handle, used for digging, lifting, throwing etc.
- A utensil with spikes used to put solid food into the mouth, or to hold food down while cutting.
- A tuning fork.
- An intersection in a road or path where one road is split into two.
- One of the parts into which anything is furcated or divided; a prong; a branch of a stream, a road, etc.; a barbed point, as of an arrow.
- A point where a waterway, such as a river, splits and goes two (more) different directions.
- (geography) Used in the names of some river tributaries, e.g. West Fork White River and East Fork White River, joining together to form the White River of Indiana
- (figuratively) A point in time where one has to make a decision between two life paths.
- (chess) The simultaneous attack of two adversary pieces with one single attacking piece (especially a knight).
- (computer science) A splitting-up of an existing process into itself and a child process executing parts of the same program.
- (computer science) An event where development of some free software or open-source software is split into two or more separate projects.
- (UK) Crotch.
- (colloquial) A forklift.
- The individual blades of a forklift.
- In a bicycle, the portion holding the front wheel, allowing the rider to steer and balance.
(third-person singular simple present forks, present participle forking, simple past and past participle forked)
- To divide into two or more branches.
- A road, a tree, or a stream forks.
- To move with a fork (as hay or food).
- (computer science) To spawn a new child process in some sense duplicating the existing process.
- (computer science) To split a (software) project into several projects.
- (UK) To kick someone in the crotch.
- To shoot into blades, as corn does.
From Middle English forke (“digging fork”), from Old English force, forca (“forked instrument used to torture”), from Proto-Germanic *furkǭ, *furkô (“fork”), from Latin furca (“pitchfork, forked stake", also "gallows, beam, stake, support post, yoke”), of uncertain origin. The Middle English word was later reinforced by Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French forque (= Old French forche whence French fourche), also from the Latin. Cognate also with North Frisian forck (“fork”), Dutch vork (“fork”), Danish fork (“fork”), German Forke (“pitchfork”). Displaced native gafol, ġeafel, ġeafle (“fork”), from Old English.
In its primary sense of "fork", Latin furca appears to be derived from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰerk(ʷ)-, *ǵʰerg(ʷ)- (“fork”), although the development of the -c- is difficult to explain. In other senses this derivation is unlikely. For these, perhaps it is connected to Proto-Germanic *furkaz, *firkalaz (“stake, stick, pole, post”), from Proto-Indo-European *perg- (“pole, post”). If so, this would relate the word to Old English forclas (“bolt”) (plural), Old Saxon fercal (“lock, bolt, bar”), Old Norse forkr (“pole, staff, stick”), Norwegian fork (“stick, bat”), Swedish fork (“pole”).
fork - Computer Definition
(1) To split into a different direction. See forked version.
(2) In Unix, to make a copy of a process for execution.
(3) In the Macintosh file system, a fork is a top- level structure that separates data folders and files from other resources. See HFS.
(4) In a SIP telephony system, to search multiple locations for a recipient. See forking proxy.