Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The common people of a society or region considered as the representatives of a traditional way of life and especially as the originators or carriers of the customs, beliefs, and arts that make up a distinctive culture.
  • noun Archaic A nation; a people.
  • noun Informal People in general.
  • noun People of a specified group or kind.
  • noun One's parents.
  • noun The members of one's family or childhood household; one's relatives.
  • adjective Of, occurring in, or originating among the common people.
  • idiom (just folks) Down-to-earth, open-hearted.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun People, considered either distributively or collectively.
  • noun plural Persons mentally classed together as forming a special group: with a qualifying adjective or clause: in this use chiefly colloquial and generally in the form folks; as, old folks; young folks; poor folks.
  • noun The people as an aggregate; the common people: in this use without a plural form.
  • noun An aggregate or corporate body of persons; a people; a nation: as singular folk, as plural folks (but rare in the plural).
  • noun plural friends: as, we are not folks now.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Eng. Hist.), obsolete In Anglo-Saxon times, the people of a group of townships or villages; a community; a tribe.
  • noun colloq. People in general, or a separate class of people; -- generally used in the plural form, and often with a qualifying adjective
  • noun Colloq. New Eng. The persons of one's own family.
  • noun one of a class of songs long popular with the common people.
  • noun the speech of the common people, as distinguished from that of the educated class.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to the inhabitants of a land, their culture, tradition, or history.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to common people as opposed to ruling classes or elites.
  • noun archaic A grouping of smaller peoples or tribes as a nation.
  • noun The inhabitants of a region especially the native inhabitants.
  • noun One’s relatives especially one’s parents.
  • noun music Folk music.
  • noun plural People in general.
  • noun plural A particular group of people.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun people descended from a common ancestor
  • noun the traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of people in a community
  • noun a social division of (usually preliterate) people
  • noun people in general (often used in the plural)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English folc; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English folc, from Proto-Germanic *fulkan (compare West Frisian folk, Dutch volk and German Volk), from *fulka- ("crowd, army"), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *pl̥h₁-go (compare Welsh ôl 'track', Lithuanian pulkas 'crowd', Old Church Slavonic plŭkŭ 'army division', Albanian plog 'barn, heap'; the Slavic and Lithuanian words may have been borrowed from Proto-Germanic instead). (Some have also unsuccessfully attempted to link the word to Latin vulgus, populus or plebs ). Related to follow.

Examples

Comments

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  • The Folk or The Good Folk are respectful terms for fairies.

    February 17, 2008