fork


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fork

1. a small usually metal implement consisting of two, three, or four long thin prongs on the end of a handle, used for lifting food to the mouth or turning it in cooking, etc.
2. an agricultural tool consisting of a handle and three or four metal prongs, used for lifting, digging, etc.
3. Chess a position in which two pieces are forked

fork

(operating system)
A Unix system call used by a process (the "parent") to make a copy (the "child") of itself. The child process is identical to the parent except it has a different process identifier and a zero return value from the fork call. It is assumed to have used no resources.

A fork followed by an exec can be used to start a different process but this can be inefficient and some later Unix variants provide vfork as an alternative mechanism for this.

See also fork bomb.

fork

(1) To split into a different direction. See forked version.

(2) In Unix, to make a copy of a process for execution.

(3) In the Macintosh file system, a fork is a top- level structure that separates data folders and files from other resources. See HFS.

(4) In a SIP telephony system, to search multiple locations for a recipient. See forking proxy.
References in classic literature ?
The foundation of their airy castles lay already before them in the strip of rich alluvium on the river bank, where the North Fork, sharply curving round the base of Devil's Spur, had for centuries swept the detritus of gulch and canyon.
Danglars took the knife in one hand and the fork in the other, and was about to cut up the fowl.
On the 11th of June, they came to the fork of the Nebraska, where it divides itself into two equal and beautiful streams.
At the side of each plate, which was placed bottom upward, with its knife and fork most accurately crossed above it, stood another, of smaller size, containing a motley- looking pie, composed of triangular slices of apple, mince, pump kin, cranberry, and custard so arranged as to form an entire whole, Decanters of brandy, rum, gin, and wine, with sundry pitchers of cider, beer, and one hissing vessel of “flip,” were put wherever an opening would admit of their introduction.
They were on a branch of the Missouri called Jefferson Fork, and had set their traps at night, about six miles up a small river that emptied into the fork.
What's the matter with the Fork, that you can't abide it?
Father Brown seemed to cogitate; he lifted a little whitebait on his fork.
It was on one of the couch-burning plots that she laboured with her fork, its four shining prongs resounding against the stones and dry clods in little clicks.
We rushed upstairs, and washed ourselves, and changed our clothes, and came down, and pulled our chairs up to the table, and sat and rubbed our hands while the landlady removed the covers, when I seized the knife and fork and started to carve.
Augusta," he said, turning pale and laying down his fork, "have you any other reason for thinking that Bencomb is less to be relied on than he was?
I would gladly have eaten the potatoes and let the meat alone, but having got a large piece of the latter on to my plate, I could not be so impolite as to leave it; so, after many awkward and unsuccessful attempts to cut it with the knife, or tear it with the fork, or pull it asunder between them, sensible that the awful lady was a spectator to the whole transaction, I at last desperately grasped the knife and fork in my fists, like a child of two years old, and fell to work with all the little strength I possessed.
In a convenient fork was a sort of rude platform of twigs and branches and creeping things.