fork


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.

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 two. See forked version and hard fork.

(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 ?
And pound he did, on the nose with the butt of the whip, and jab he did, with the iron fork to the ribs.
At the same moment, an attendant, through the bars behind, drove an iron fork into his ribs to force him away from the bars and toward the chair.
His helpless body guided thus by the tail, his chest jabbed by the iron fork in Mulcachy's hands, the rope was suddenly lowered, and Ben Bolt, with swimming brain, found himself seated in the chair.
14th September, they encamped on the forks of the Wind or Bighorn River.
It took the form of a dozen quaintly shaped forks and knives.
If you doubt the penitence as a practical fact, there are your knives and forks.
But I'd give a good many silver forks to know exactly how you fell into this affair, and how you got the stuff out of him.
My orders were to take no notice so long as they circulated, but open slave-dealing in the Fork, was too much.
Since they were in pairs, and the other of the Fork was mad and sang foolishly, we waited for some heathen to do what was needful.
The meat was smoking hot and the knives and forks were performing strange antics and jumping here and there in quite a puzzling way.
A peal of merry laughter answered her, and the knives and forks fell to the plates with a clatter.
They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care; They pursued it with forks and hope; They threatened its life with a railway-share; They charmed it with smiles and soap.