American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


FOLK, noun foke. [Latin vulgus. The sense is a crowd, from collecting or pressing, not from following, but from the same root, as to follow is to press toward. Gr. Originally and properly it had no plural, being a collective noun; but in modern use, in America, it has lost its singular number, and we hear it only in the plural. It is a colloquial word, not admissible into elegant style.]

1. People in general, or any part of them without distinction. What do folks say respecting the war? Men love to talk about the affairs of other folks.

2. Certain people, discriminated from others; as old folks, and young folks. Children sometimes call their parents, the old folks. So we say sick folks; poor folks; proud folks.

3. In scripture, the singular number is used; as a few sick folk; impotent folk Mark 6:5. John 5:3.

4. Animals.

The coneys are but a feeble folk Proverbs 30:26.