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[fohk] /foʊk/
Usually, folks. (used with a plural verb) people in general:
Folks say there wasn't much rain last summer.
Often, folks. (used with a plural verb) people of a specified class or group:
country folk; poor folks.
(used with a plural verb) people as the carriers of culture, especially as representing the composite of social mores, customs, forms of behavior, etc., in a society:
The folk are the bearers of oral tradition.
folks, Informal.
  1. members of one's family; one's relatives:
    All his folks come from France.
  2. one's parents:
    Will your folks let you go?
Archaic. a people or tribe.
of or originating among the common people:
folk beliefs; a folk hero.
having unknown origins and reflecting the traditional forms of a society:
folk culture; folk art.
just folks, Informal. (of persons) simple, unaffected, unsophisticated, or open-hearted people:
He enjoyed visiting his grandparents because they were just folks.
before 900; Middle English; Old English folc; cognate with Old Saxon, Old Norse folk, Old High German folk (German Volk)
4. kinfolk, kin, relations, people; clan, tribe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for folk
  • Its base might have been in raw folk music, but any edge it possessed had been carefully smoothed.
  • Legislation puts calories on a package but folk fail to relate how much energy is available vs what a body needs.
  • The artistic, architectural and folk heritage representative of these cultures is celebrated.
  • Plus all the other university stuff that normal folk do elsewhere.
  • Unscientific folk may be excused for concluding that among the natural sciences chemistry is the poor cousin.
  • Acid rock, psychedelic drugs and folk music were popular.
  • Instead, you'll hear from some of the gamers, non-gamers and industry folk who went to the trade show.
  • Secondly, it's not those folk we're concerned about.
  • The game explores prejudices city folk hold against those who live in rural areas, and is adult in nature.
  • He was a large collector of folk art and tools and had a museum nearby.
British Dictionary definitions for folk


noun (pl) folk, folks
(functioning as pl; often pl in form) people in general, esp those of a particular group or class country folk
(functioning as pl; usually pl in form) (informal) members of a family
(functioning as sing) (informal) short for folk music
a people or tribe
(modifier) relating to, originating from, or traditional to the common people of a country a folk song
Derived Forms
folkish, adjective
folkishness, noun
Word Origin
Old English folc; related to Old Saxon, Old Norse, Old High German folk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for folk
O.E. folc "common people, men, tribe, multitude," from P.Gmc. *folkom (cf. O.Fris. folk, M.Du. volc, Ger. Volk "people"), from P.Gmc. *fulka-, perhaps originally "host of warriors;" cf. O.N. folk "people," also "army, detachment;" and Lith. pulkas "crowd," O.C.S. pluku "division of an army," both believed to have been borrowed from P.Gmc. Some have attempted, without success, to link the word to Gk. plethos "multitude;" L. plebs "people, mob," populus "people" or vulgus. Superseded in most senses by people.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with folk
see: just folks
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for folk

an ideal type or concept of society that is completely cohesive-morally, religiously, politically, and socially-because of the small numbers and isolated state of the people, because of the relatively unmediated personal quality of social interaction, and because the entire world of experience is permeated with religious meaning, the understanding and expression of which are shared by all members. The folk society is generally assumed to be the model of preliterate or so-called primitive societies that anthropologists have traditionally studied.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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