Definition of fork in English:

fork

Line breaks: fork
Pronunciation: /fɔːk
 
/

noun

1An implement with two or more prongs used for lifting food to the mouth or holding it when cutting.
More example sentences
  • All these invite the sidelong glances of those who pretend not to be looking, as when in a restaurant, she struggles to keep the food on the fork long enough to deposit it in the mouth.
  • A man often puts a piece of food on his fork, puts it in his mouth, swallows it, often too quickly to properly taste it, stops eating when he no longer feels hungry.
  • The herb mash was a tad too firm, although tasty enough, but that was more than made up for by the sheer quality, freshness and succulence of fish that virtually dissolved as the fork hit the mouth.
1.1A farm or garden tool with three or four prongs, used for digging or lifting.
More example sentences
  • The first half ended with the skit entitled I didn't do it, in which Joseph plays a schoolboy arrested by the police for obscene language while working in the school garden with hoes, forks and agricultural tools.
  • To avoid damaging the edible portions, use a garden fork to loosen the soil around the leeks first.
  • Rhizomes are easy to pry up with a garden fork or shovel.
1.2 [as modifier] Denoting a light meal or buffet that may be eaten solely with a fork, while standing: a fork supper
More example sentences
  • A Right Royal Jubilee Recipe Book includes menu ideas for a fork lunch, dozens of dishes and is rounded off with a recipe for Commonwealth cake.
2The point where something, especially a road or (North American) river, divides into two parts: turn right at the next fork
More example sentences
  • It was as if she stood at a junction, or a fork in the road, and there wasn't any correct way to go.
  • But the opposite holds true if the house is at the end of a T-junction or in the fork of a road where it faces oncoming traffic.
  • Night had fallen prematurely as they turned a bend in the road, and finally caught sight of the river fork.
2.1Either of two forked parts: the left fork goes on to the village
More example sentences
  • However, when the taxi driver took the fork in the road towards Manhattan rather than Long Island, a strange sensation washed over me.
  • At Kattikulam, the right fork of the road leads to Nagarhole and the left to Tirunelli through elephant sanctuaries and bamboo forests.
  • He didn't take the left fork in the road, he paid the consequences.
3 (usually forks) Each of a pair of supports in which a bicycle or motorcycle wheel revolves.
More example sentences
  • The ladder arms are brought together at the front and angled up to become the headstock for the motorcycle forks, which are kept at a more vertical angle to allow for the extremely sharp turns.
  • Vintage steel wheels and forks are hard to find.
  • The wired mounting hardware works with oversized road bars and a variety of forks, but the wheel magnet only fits standard spokes.
4A flash of forked lightning.
More example sentences
  • Their linings were tainted a blood-red hue - a fork of lightning flashed every now and then.
  • Just as a fork of lightening flashed past her window, two figures appeared in the doorway.
  • The forks that you can see are actually nitrogen and oxygen, which has been converted into plasma.
5 Chess A simultaneous attack on two or more pieces by one.
More example sentences
  • A fork occurs when one piece attacks two or more enemy units at the same time.
  • Forks are covered in the chapter ‘The Double Attack,’ although many would consider forks to be a separate species of double attack.

verb

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1 [no object] (Especially of a route) divide into two parts: the place where the road forks
More example sentences
  • Frequent bolts of lightning forked through the sky, lighting up her surroundings with an eerie brightness.
  • Lightning forked down from the sky, and thunder roared in sympathy moments later, adding to the hellish scene.
  • Narrow dirt paths forked from the stairs, leading to even denser rows of crosses amongst soft weeds.
Synonyms
branch, split, divide, subdivide, separate, part, diverge, go in different directions, go separate ways, bifurcate, split in two; branch off
technical furcate, divaricate, ramify
1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Take or constitute one route or the other at the point where a route divides: we forked north-west for Rannoch
More example sentences
  • She strengthened her grip on my arm, steered me onto a smaller path which forked off the main route to the left.
  • Just before the house, take a path that forks to the right and then go right again after 20 yards, following the edge of a field up to a minor road.
  • At the top of the steps take the path forking left and cross a stile leading into a field.
1.2 Computing Split (a process) into two or more independent processes: the attack can only work against a server that forks separate processes to handle client requests
More example sentences
  • Some parameters can be changed during the execution of the program, i.e., the number of threads forked in a parallel region.
  • I would go one step further, and fork the kernel - source - to remove any trace of DRM in any piece of code in the kernel source.
2 [with object] Dig or move (something) with a fork: fork in some compost
More example sentences
  • After a crash course on dining with élan and forking food with flair, the surprise test came on china piled high with tricky-to-eat broccoli, sprouts and small sautéed potatoes.
  • One of the main features of the day was the steam threshing which involved forking the stooks into the steam-powered conveyor belt.
  • The hay was forked into the hayshed, when the pile got so high; someone had to go up and ‘tramp’ it and throw it to the back of the hayshed.
3 [with object] Chess Attack (two pieces) simultaneously with one: he has forked my bishop and knight
More example sentences
  • Black has just pushed his pawn to d5, forking White's Bishop and Knight.
  • When you forked my knight and king, that really was a good move.

Origin

Old English forca, force (denoting a farm implement), based on Latin furca 'pitchfork, forked stick'; reinforced in Middle English by Anglo-Norman French furke (also from Latin furca).

Phrasal verbs

fork something out/up

informal Pay money for something, especially reluctantly: my car had been towed away and I had to fork out 70 quid
More example sentences
  • And millions more of our money was forked out to such schools in other subsidies.
  • You have forked the money out every month for years and years and now they don't want to know you, they will not cover you for the things which you need cover for due to age.
  • Imagine being in a position to spend that same €375 million on providing a worthwhile service or improving one, instead of having to fork it out to pay the wages for immigration officials guarding our airports, etc.
Synonyms
pay, pay up, pay out; come up with, hand over, part with, defray the cost of; foot the bill, settle up
informal cough up, shell out, dish out, lay out, come across with
British informal stump up
North American informal make with, ante up, pony up

Derivatives

forkful

noun (plural forkfuls)
More example sentences
  • It tastes marvelously clean between forkfuls of spring greens in cherry tomato vinaigrette, which comes on the side.
  • I lifted up a forkful and let it drop back onto the plate.
  • Mac bit into a forkful of the scrambled eggs and found them mildly spiced with a flavor he couldn't name.

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