Fork out


      • to spend a large sum of money
        To reluctantly pay a large amount of money for something, often implying that it is an excessive or unreasonable cost

      • to distribute or give out something
        To dispense or distribute something, often used in a negative sense to express frustration or annoyance at having to do so

      • to reveal or disclose something
        To openly reveal or disclose information or a secret, often used in a negative sense to express frustration or annoyance at having to do so

      • to produce or provide something
        To produce or provide something, often used in a negative sense to convey difficulty or reluctance in doing so

    Examples of Fork out

    • The restaurant's new menu items are quite expensive, but we want to try them all. We'll have to fork out a bit more than usual.

      In this context, "fork out" refers to spending money. When we say "we'll have to fork out a bit more than usual," we mean that we'll need to pay more than we usually do for the meals we want to order.

    • My friend asked me to loan him some money for a few weeks. I didn't have extra cash, so I told him I couldn't fork out that kind of money right now.

      In this example, "fork out" is used in a conversational context to mean "give out" or "lend out." The speaker is saying that they don't have enough money to lend to their friend at this time.

    • The city council decided to fork out funds for a new park in the neighborhood.

      Here, "fork out" means to pay or provide funding. The city council has decided to provide money for the creation of a new park in the area.

    • My coworker keeps sending me emails with new projects and tasks. I'm starting to feel like I'm constantly being asked to fork out my time and energy for these things.

      In this context, "fork out" is being used metaphorically to mean "expend" or "give up." The speaker is feeling like they're being asked to devote a lot of time and effort to their coworker's requests.

    • The company expects its employees to fork out for their own retirement plans.

      In this example, "fork out" is used as a phrasal verb meaning to pay a significant amount of money. The company is requiring its employees to pay for their own retirement plans instead of providing a company-sponsored plan.

    • My roommate keeps forgetting to pay for utilities, and now I have to fork out for the entire bill.

      Here, "fork out" is used to describe having to pay an unexpected expense that was not originally planned for. The roommate's forgetfulness has resulted in the other person having to pay for the entire utility bill.

    • The team realized they didn't have enough funds to cover the tournament fees, so they had to fork out of their own pockets to enter.

      The context here shows that "fork out" is being used as a result of unexpected circumstances. The team did not anticipate having to pay for the tournament fees, but in order to participate, they needed to pay out of their own pockets.

    • The student loan payments are about to start, and I'm terrified of having to fork out every month.

      Finally, "fork out" is used to describe an ongoing monthly expense. The student is expressing their fear of having to pay their monthly student loan payments, which can be a significant financial burden.


    The idiom "fork out" is most commonly used to describe spending a large amount of money or being forced to pay an excessive cost for something. It can also be used to express frustration or annoyance at having to distribute or reveal something, as well as difficulty or reluctance in producing or providing something.

    Origin of "Fork out"

    The origin of this idiom is unclear, but it is thought to have originated from the act of literally taking out a fork and digging into one's pocket to pay for something. This action is associated with the idea of reluctantly giving away money. Another theory suggests that it may have derived from the popular saying "fork over," meaning to hand over or surrender something.

    Interestingly, the idiom "fork out" has also been used in other contexts, such as in reference to the act of digging out a fork from a pile of cutlery. This could suggest that the idiom may have evolved from the literal action of retrieving a fork, to a more abstract meaning of giving away or revealing something. Regardless of its exact origin, "fork out" remains a commonly used idiom in the English language.