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fork Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun cutlery used for serving and eating food
  2. noun the act of branching out or dividing into branches
    branching; forking; ramification.
  3. noun the region of the angle formed by the junction of two branches
    • they took the south fork
    • he climbed into the crotch of a tree
  4. noun an agricultural tool used for lifting or digging; has a handle and metal prongs
  5. noun the angle formed by the inner sides of the legs where they join the human trunk
  6. verb lift with a pitchfork
    • pitchfork hay
  7. verb place under attack with one's own pieces, of two enemy pieces
  8. verb divide into two or more branches so as to form a fork
    ramify; furcate; branch; separate.
    • The road forks
  9. verb shape like a fork
    • She forked her fingers

Fork noun
AS. forc, fr. L. furca. Cf. Fourch, Furcate.
  1. An instrument consisting consisting of a handle with a shank terminating in two or more prongs or tines, which are usually of metal, parallel and slightly curved; -- used from piercing, holding, taking up, or pitching anything.
  2. Anything furcate or like of a fork in shape, or furcate at the extremity; as, a tuning fork.
  3. 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.
    Let it fall . . . though the fork invade The region of my heart. Shak.
    A thunderbolt with three forks. Addison.
  4. The place where a division or a union occurs; the angle or opening between two branches or limbs; as, the fork of a river, a tree, or a road.
  5. The gibbet. Obs. Bp. Butler.
Fork intransitive verb
imperfect & past participle Forked ; present participle & verbal noun Forking
  1. To shoot into blades, as corn.
    The corn beginneth to fork.
    Mortimer. 1
  2. To divide into two or more branches; as, a road, a tree, or a stream forks.
Fork transitive verb
  1. To raise, or pitch with a fork, as hay; to dig or turn over with a fork, as the soil.
    Forking the sheaves on the high-laden cart. Prof. Wilson.
    G. Eliot.

Webster 1913