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A fork is a object with a handle on one side and long tines on the other side; it is used for pricking, to hold or transfer something.

In particular it is a (usually metal) object for transferring food to the mouth or to hold food in place during the cooking process or while cutting it. Transferring is often done without pricking, by just putting the food on the more or less horizontal tines. For this spoon-like use the tines are curved.

According to etiquette, during the meal it is held in the left hand, and the knife in the right.

See also spoon, spork, chopsticks

A large variety is the hayfork[?].

When we walk to a crossroads we sometimes say that the road forks.

In Open-Source software, a fork happens when a developer (or a group of them) takes code from a project and starts to develop independently of the rest. This schism can be caused because of different goals or personality clashes. Some see forks as a weakness in Open Source, but they can demonstrate the adaptability of the model. The relationship between the different teams can be cordial or very bitter.


A fork, when applied to a programming language, is when a subroutine creates a copy of itself, which then acts as a "child" of the original subroutine, now called the "parent". More generally, a fork in a multithreading environment means that a thread of execution is duplicated.

See also: Forklift

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