See also: förk.

EnglishEdit

PronunciationEdit

 
Pronged eating utensil — a fork (sense 1.1)
 a b c d e f g h  
8        8
7        7
6        6
5        5
4        4
3        3
2        2
1        1
 a b c d e f g h  
The knight forks the black king and rook. The pawn forks the white rooks. (sense 7)
 
A small garden fork (sense 1.2)

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English forke (digging fork), from Old English force, forca (forked instrument used to torture), from Proto-West Germanic *furkō (fork), from Latin furca (pitchfork, forked stake; 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 pl (bolt), Old Saxon ferkal (lock, bolt, bar), Old Norse forkr (pole, staff, stick), Norwegian fork (stick, bat), Swedish fork (pole).

NounEdit

fork (plural forks)

  1. Any of several types of pronged (tined) tools (physical tools), as follows:
    1. A utensil with spikes used to put solid food into the mouth, or to hold food down while cutting.
      Coordinate terms: spoon, knife, table knife, butter knife, steak knife, spork, foon, chork
      Hyponyms: salad fork, cocktail fork, crab fork, pickle fork, chip fork
    2. Any of several types of pronged tools for use on farms, in fields, or in the garden or lawn, such as a smaller hand fork for weeding or a larger one for turning over the soil.
      1. Such a pronged tool having a long straight handle, generally for two-handed use, as used for digging, lifting, mucking, pitching, etc.
        Hyponyms: pitchfork, digging fork, spade fork, spading fork, garden fork
    3. A tuning fork.
  2. (by abstraction, from the tool shape) A fork in the road, as follows:
    1. (physical) An intersection in a road or path where one road is split into two.
    2. (figuratively) A decision point.
  3. (by abstraction, from the tool shape) A point where a waterway, such as a river or other stream, splits and flows into two (or more) different directions.
    Antonym: confluence
  4. (metonymically, and analogous to any prong of a pronged tool) 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 thunderbolt with three forks
    this fork of the river dries up during droughts
    Synonyms: branch, prong (but the word prong is usually reserved for the physical sense, and the word tine is always so)
  5. (figuratively, decision-making) A point in time where one has to make a decision between two life paths.
    1. (metonymically) Either of the (figurative) paths thus taken.
  6. (figuratively, by abstraction, from a physical fork) (software development, content management, data management) A departure from having a single source of truth (SSOT), sometimes intentionally but usually unintentionally.
    1. (metonymically) Any of the pieces/versions (of software, content, or data sets) thus created.
      Antonym: single source of truth, SSOT
    2. (software) The launch of one or more separate software development efforts based upon a modified copy of an existing project, especially in free and open-source software.
      1. (software) Any of the software projects resulting from the launch of such separate software development efforts based upon a copy of the original project.
        LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice.
    3. (content management) The splitting of the coverage of a topic (within a corpus of content) into two or more pieces.
      A content fork may be intentional (as from a schism about goals) or unintentional (merely from a lack of reorganizing, so far).
      1. (content management) Any of the pieces/versions of content thus created.
    4. (cryptocurrencies) A split in a blockchain resulting from protocol disagreements, or a branch of the blockchain resulting from such a split.
      Hyponyms: hard fork, soft fork
      • 2015 August 17, Alex Hern, “Bitcoin's forked: chief scientist launches alternative proposal for the currency”, in The Guardian[1]:
        Known as a “fork”, the new version of bitcoin (dubbed Bitcoin XT) would support more transactions per hour, at the cost of increasing the amount of memory required to hold a full database of all the bitcoin transactions throughout history, known as the blockchain.
  7. (chess) The simultaneous attack of two adversary pieces with one single attacking piece (especially a knight).
  8. (Britain, vulgar) The crotch. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  9. (colloquial) A forklift.
    Are you qualified to drive a fork?
  10. Either of the blades of a forklift (or, in plural, the set of blades), on which the goods to be raised are loaded.
    Get those forks tilted back more or you're gonna lose that pallet!
  11. (cycling, motorcycling, by abstraction from a pronged tool's shape) In a bicycle or motorcycle, the portion of the frameset holding the front wheel, allowing the rider to steer and balance, also called front fork.
    The fork can be equipped with a suspension on mountain bikes.
  12. The upper front brow of a saddle bow, connected in the tree by the two saddle bars to the cantle on the other end.
    Synonyms: swell, pommel
  13. (obsolete) A gallows.
    • a. 1680, Samuel Butler, Characters:
      They had run through all punishments, and just 'scaped the fork


Derived termsEdit
DescendantsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

fork (third-person singular simple present forks, present participle forking, simple past and past participle forked)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To divide into two or more branches or copies.
    A road, a tree, or a stream forks.
    1. (transitive, intransitive, computing) To spawn a new child process by duplicating the existing process.
      • 2008, Mark G. Sobell, A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux[2], Pearson Education, →ISBN:
        A parent process forks a child process, which in turn can fork other processes.
      • 2013, W. Richard Stevens; Stephen A. Rago, Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, third edition, Addison-Wesley, →ISBN, page 304:
        It appears that the shell forks a copy of itself and that this copy then forks to make each of the previous processes in the pipeline.
    2. (transitive, intransitive, software engineering) To launch a separate software development effort based upon a modified copy of an existing software project, especially in free and open-source software.
      • 2007, Fadi P. Deek; James A. M. McHugh, Open Source: Technology and Policy, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 21:
        For various reasons, McCool's server project subsequently forked, leading to the development of the Apache Web Server.
      • 2015, Christian Bird et al., editors, The Art and Science of Analyzing Software Data, Elsevier, →ISBN, page 77:
        Google forked WebKit to create the Blink project in April 2013 because they wanted to make larger-scale changes to WebKit to fit their own needs that did not align well with the WebKit project itself.
    3. (transitive, software engineering) To create a copy of a distributed version control repository.
      • 2015, Sajal Debnath, Mastering PowerCLI, Packt Publishing Ltd, →ISBN, page 27:
        In this model, anyone can fork an existing repository and push changes to their personal fork.
  2. (transitive) To move with a fork (as hay or food).
    • 1844, John Wilson, Essay on the Genius, and Character of Burns:
      forking the sheaves on the high-laden cart
  3. (transitive, Britain) To kick someone in the crotch.
  4. (intransitive) To shoot into blades, as corn does.
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, OCLC 13320837:
      I have known them couched up a Yard thick cover’d with an Hair-cloth and ſtirred only once a day, the Maltſer being always careful to throw the frozen outſides into the middle till the Corn begin to fork and warm in the Couch; after which time if it be not laid too thin, it will not eaſily freeze.
  5. (transitive) Euphemistic form of fuck.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Alternative formsEdit

NounEdit

fork (plural forks)

  1. (mining) The bottom of a sump into which the water of a mine drains.

VerbEdit

fork (third-person singular simple present forks, present participle forking, simple past and past participle forked)

  1. (mining, transitive) To bale a shaft dry.

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


DanishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old Norse forkr (boathook), from Latin furca (fork, pitchfork).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /fɔrk/, [fɒːɡ̊]

NounEdit

fork c (singular definite forken, plural indefinite forke)

  1. (two-pronged) fork, pitchfork

InflectionEdit


DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From English fork in the computer science sense. Doublet of vork (fork).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

fork f (plural forks, diminutive forkje n)

  1. (computer science) A fork, splitting-up of an existing process into itself and a child process executing parts of the same program.

SynonymsEdit

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

NounEdit

fork

  1. Alternative form of forke