Folk are regular people. Country folk can be suspicious of fancy city people, while city folk tend to act a little snobby toward country dwellers.

The plural form of this word, folks, is often used for groups of ordinary people. You could say that folks in New York seem more accepting of your eccentricities than the folks back home in your small town. You can also refer to your parents as your folks, or use it as an informal, friendly form of address: "Hi, folks! I'll be your waiter today." The Old English root is folc, "common people, nation, or troop."

Definitions of folk
  1. noun
    people in general (often used in the plural)
    “they're just country folk
    synonyms: common people, folks
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    country people, countryfolk
    people raised in or living in a rural environment; rustics
    people of good family and breeding and high social status
    grass roots
    the common people at a local level (as distinguished from the centers of political activity)
    home folk
    folks from your own home town
    rabble, ragtag, ragtag and bobtail, riffraff
    disparaging terms for the common people
    scum, trash
    worthless people
    type of:
    (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively
  2. noun
    a social division of (usually preliterate) people
    synonyms: tribe
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    a tribe of ancient Athenians
    type of:
    social group
    people sharing some social relation
  3. noun
    people descended from a common ancestor
    synonyms: family, family line, kinfolk, kinsfolk, phratry, sept
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    members of a family line
    the people of your home locality (especially your own family)
    aristocratic family line
    a sequence of powerful leaders in the same family
    gens, name
    family based on male descent
    royal family, royal house, royal line, royalty
    royal persons collectively
    Bourbon, Bourbon dynasty
    a European royal line that ruled in France (from 1589-1793) and Spain and Naples and Sicily
    Capetian dynasty
    a Frankish dynasty founded by Hugh Capet that ruled from 987 to 1328
    Carlovingian dynasty, Carolingian dynasty
    a Frankish dynasty founded by Charlemagne's father that ruled from 751 to 987
    Flavian dynasty
    a dynasty of Roman Emperors from 69 to 96 including Vespasian and his sons Titus and Domitian
    Han, Han dynasty
    imperial dynasty that ruled China (most of the time from 206 BC to AD 220) and expanded its boundaries and developed its bureaucracy; remembered as one of the great eras of Chinese civilization
    Hanover, Hanoverian line, House of Hanover
    the English royal house that reigned from 1714 to 1901 (from George I to Victoria)
    Habsburg, Hapsburg
    a royal German family that provided rulers for several European states and wore the crown of the Holy Roman Empire from 1440 to 1806
    a German noble family that ruled Brandenburg and Prussia
    House of Lancaster, Lancaster, Lancastrian line
    the English royal house that reigned from 1399 to 1461; its emblem was a red rose
    Liao, Liao dynasty
    the dynasty that ruled much of Manchuria and northeastern China from 947 to 1125
    Merovingian, Merovingian dynasty
    a Frankish dynasty founded by Clovis I that reigned in Gaul and Germany from about 500 to 750
    Ming, Ming dynasty
    the imperial dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644
    Ottoman, Ottoman dynasty
    the Turkish dynasty that ruled the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century to its dissolution after World War I
    Plantagenet, Plantagenet line
    the family name of a line of English kings that reigned from 1154 to 1485
    Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemy
    an ancient dynasty of Macedonian kings who ruled Egypt from 323 BC to 30 BC; founded by Ptolemy I and ended with Cleopatra
    Ch'in, Ch'in dynasty, Qin, Qin dynasty
    the Chinese dynasty (from 246 BC to 206 BC) that established the first centralized imperial government and built much of the Great Wall
    Ch'ing, Ch'ing dynasty, Manchu, Manchu dynasty, Qing, Qing dynasty
    the last imperial dynasty of China (from 1644 to 1912) which was overthrown by revolutionaries; during the Qing dynasty China was ruled by the Manchu
    Romanoff, Romanov
    the Russian imperial line that ruled from 1613 to 1917
    the name of the royal family that ruled Great Britain from 1901-1917; the name was changed to Windsor in 1917 in response to anti-German feelings in World War I
    any one of the Turkish dynasties that ruled Asia Minor from the 11th to the 13th centuries; they successfully invaded Byzantium and defended the Holy Land against Crusaders
    Shang, Shang dynasty
    the imperial dynasty ruling China from about the 18th to the 12th centuries BC
    the royal family that ruled Scotland from 1371-1714 and ruled England from 1603 to 1649 and again from 1660 to 1714
    Song, Song dynasty, Sung, Sung dynasty
    the imperial dynasty of China from 960 to 1279; noted for art and literature and philosophy
    Tang, Tang dynasty
    the imperial dynasty of China from 618 to 907
    House of Tudor, Tudor
    an English dynasty descended from Henry Tudor; Tudor monarchs ruled from Henry VII to Elizabeth I (from 1485 to 1603)
    Omayyad, Ommiad, Umayyad
    the first dynasty of Arab caliphs whose capital was Damascus
    French royal house from 1328 to 1589
    Wei, Wei dynasty
    any of several imperial dynasties of China ruling from 220 to 265 and from 386 to 556
    House of Windsor, Windsor
    the British royal family since 1917
    House of York, York
    the English royal house (a branch of the Plantagenet line) that reigned from 1461 to 1485; its emblem was a white rose
    Mongol dynasty, Yuan, Yuan dynasty
    the imperial dynasty of China from 1279 to 1368
    Chou, Chou dynasty, Chow, Chow dynasty, Zhou, Zhou dynasty
    the imperial dynasty of China from 1122 to 221 BC; notable for the rise of Confucianism and Taoism
    aristocratic Italian family of powerful merchants and bankers who ruled Florence in the 15th century
    type of:
    ancestry, blood, blood line, bloodline, descent, line, line of descent, lineage, origin, parentage, pedigree, stemma, stock
    the lineage of an individual
  4. noun
    the traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of people in a community
    synonyms: ethnic music, folk music
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    folk ballad, folk song, folksong
    a song that is traditionally sung by the common people of a region and forms part of their culture
    music performed for dancing the schottische
    C and W, country and western, country music
    a simple style of folk music heard mostly in the southern United States; usually played on stringed instruments
    gospel, gospel singing
    folk music consisting of a genre of a cappella music originating with Black slaves in the United States and featuring call and response; influential on the development of other genres of popular music (especially soul)
    square-dance music
    music performed for square dancing
    a type of folksong that originated among Black Americans at the beginning of the 20th century; has a melancholy sound from repeated use of blue notes
    a sad Portuguese folksong
    a genre (usually a cappella) of Black vocal-harmony music of the 1950s that evolved in New York City from gospel singing; characterized by close four-part harmonies; the name derived from some of the nonsense syllables sung by the backup
    a secular form of gospel that was a major Black musical genre in the 1960s and 1970s
    a type of country music played at a rapid tempo on banjos and guitars
    hillbilly music
    country music originating in mountainous regions of southern United States
    music of southern Louisiana that combines French dance melodies with Caribbean music and blues
    type of:
    popular music, popular music genre
    any genre of music having wide appeal (but usually only for a short time)
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘folk'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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