AskDefine | Define folks

Dictionary Definition

folks n : your parents; "he wrote to his folks every day"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Plural of folk
  2. The members of one's household; especially one's parents and immediate family.
    My folks visit us at Christmas.
  3. People in general; everybody or anybody.
    Lots of folks like to travel during the holidays.

Related terms



  1. Plural of folk

Extensive Definition

People denotes a group of humans, either with unspecified traits, or specific characteristics (e.g. the people of Spain or the people of the Plains). The term people is often used in English as the suppletive plural of person. However, the word persons is sometimes used in place of people, especially when it would be ambiguous with its collective sense (e.g. missing persons instead of missing people). The term people can collectively refer to all humans or it can be used to identify the citizens of a nation, or members of a tribe, ethnic, or religious group. For example, "people of color" is a phrase used in North America to describe non-whites.

In philosophy and religion

The concept of personhood (who is a person within a society) is the fundamental component of any selective concept of people. A distinction is maintained in philosophy and law between the notions "human being", or "man", and "person". The former refers to the species, while the latter refers to a rational agent (see, for example, John Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding II 27 and Immanuel Kant's Introduction to the Metaphysic of Morals). Central issues of interest to people are the understanding of the human condition and the meaning of life, and survival. Religion, philosophy, and science show or represent modes and aspects of inquiry which attempt to investigate and understand the nature, behavior, and purpose of people. Sociology, economics, and politics represent modes by which people investigate how to maximize a collective survival strategy.
Islam recognizes the People of the Book as members of monotheistic faiths founded upon revelation related to its own faith. By contrast, in Judaism, the Jews are often said to be the chosen people, a concept modified by the Christian doctrine of the Elect.

In politics

Various republics govern, or claim to govern, in the name of the people. Both the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire used the Latin term Senatus Populusque Romanus, (the Senate and People of Rome). This term was fixed to Roman legionary standards, and even after the Roman Emperors achieved a state of total personal autarchy, they continued to wield their power in the name of the Senate and People of Rome. A People's Republic is typically a Marxist or socialist one-party state that claims to govern on behalf of the people. Populism is another umbrella term for various political tendencies that claim to represent the people, usually with an implication that they serve the common people instead of the elite.

In law

further Popular sovereignty In criminal law, in certain jurisdictions, criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the People. Several U.S. states, including California, Illinois, and New York, use this style. Citations outside the jurisdictions in question usually substitute the name of the state for the words "the People" in the case captions. Four states — Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky — refer to themselves as the Commonwealth in case captions and legal process. Other states, such as Indiana, typically refer to themselves as the State in case captions and legal process. The political theory underlying this format is that criminal prosecutions are brought in the name of the sovereign; thus, in these U.S. states, the "people" are judged to be the sovereign, even as in the United Kingdom and other dependencies of the British Crown, criminal prosecutions are typically brought in the name of the Crown. "The people" identifies the entire body of the citizens of a jurisdiction invested with political power or gathered for political purposes.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
folks in Arabic: شعب
folks in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Народ
folks in Catalan: Poble
folks in Chuvash: Халăх
folks in Danish: Folkeslag
folks in German: Volk
folks in Spanish: Pueblo (sociedad)
folks in Esperanto: Popolo
folks in French: Peuple
folks in Western Frisian: Folk
folks in Friulian: Popul
folks in Indonesian: Rakyat
folks in Icelandic: Fólk
folks in Italian: Popolo
folks in Latin: Populus
folks in Lingala: Ekólo
folks in Dutch: Volk
folks in Japanese: 人々
folks in Norwegian Nynorsk: Folkegruppe
folks in Quechua: Runa llaqta
folks in Russian: Народ
folks in Simple English: People
folks in Tagalog: Mga tao
folks in Kabyle: Agdud
folks in Venetian: Pòpoło
folks in Yiddish: פאלק
folks in Chinese: 人民

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

agnate, ancestry, blood, blood relation, blood relative, brood, children, clansman, cognate, collateral, collateral relative, connections, consanguinean, distaff side, distant relation, enate, family, flesh, flesh and blood, german, get, hearth, homefolks, house, household, issue, kin, kindred, kinfolk, kinnery, kinsfolk, kinsman, kinsmen, kinswoman, kith and kin, menage, near relation, next of kin, offspring, people, posterity, relations, relatives, sib, sibling, spear kin, spear side, spindle kin, spindle side, sword side, tribesman, uterine kin
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