verb (used with object)
- to bend (cloth, paper, etc.) over upon itself.
- to bring into a compact form by bending and laying parts together (often followed by up): to fold up a map; to fold one’s legs under oneself.
- to bring (the arms, hands, etc.) together in an intertwined or crossed manner; clasp; cross: He folded his arms on his chest.
- to bend or wind (usually followed by about, round, etc.): to fold one’s arms about a person’s neck.
- to bring (the wings) close to the body, as a bird on alighting.
- to enclose; wrap; envelop: to fold something in paper.
- to embrace or clasp; to fold someone in one’s arms.:
- Cards. to place (one’s cards) facedown so as to withdraw from the play.
- Informal. to bring to an end; close up: The owner decided to fold the business and retire.
verb (used without object)
- to be folded or be capable of folding: The doors fold back.
- Cards. to place one’s cards facedown so as to withdraw from the play.
- Informal. to fail in business; be forced to close: The newspaper folded after 76 years.
- Informal. to yield or give in: Dad folded and said we could go after all.
- a part that is folded; pleat; layer: folds of cloth.
- a crease made by folding: He cut the paper along the fold.
- a hollow made by folding: to carry something in the fold of one’s dress.
- a hollow place in undulating ground: a fold of the mountains.
- Geology. a portion of strata that is folded or bent, as an anticline or syncline, or that connects two horizontal or parallel portions of strata of different levels (as a monocline).
- the line formed along the horizontal center of a standard-sized newspaper when it is folded after printing.
- a rough-and-ready dividing line, especially on the front page and other principal pages, between stories of primary and lesser importance.
- a coil of a serpent, string, etc.
- the act of folding or doubling over.
- Anatomy. a margin or ridge formed by the folding of a membrane or other flat body part; plica.
- fold in, Cookery. to mix in or add (an ingredient) by gently turning one part over another: Fold in the egg whites.
- fold up, Informal.
- to break down; collapse: He folded up when the prosecutor discredited his story.
- to fail, especially to go out of business.
- an enclosure for sheep or, occasionally, other domestic animals.
- the sheep kept within it.
- a flock of sheep.
- a church.
- the members of a church; congregation: He preached to the fold.
- a group sharing common beliefs, values, etc.: He rejoined the fold after his youthful escapade.
verb (used with object)
- to confine (sheep or other domestic animals) in a fold.
- a native English suffix meaning “of so many parts,” or denoting multiplication by the number indicated by the stem or word to which the suffix is attached: twofold; manifold.
- to bend or be bent double so that one part covers anotherto fold a sheet of paper
- (tr) to bring together and intertwine (the arms, legs, etc)she folded her hands
- (tr) (of birds, insects, etc) to close (the wings) together from an extended position
- (tr; often foll by up or in) to enclose in or as if in a surrounding material
- (tr foll by in) to clasp (a person) in the arms
- (tr usually foll by round, about, etc) to wind (around); entwine
- (tr) poetic to cover completelynight folded the earth
- Also: fold in (tr) to mix (a whisked mixture) with other ingredients by gently turning one part over the other with a spoon
- to produce a bend (in stratified rock) or (of stratified rock) to display a bend
- (intr often foll by up) informal to collapse; failthe business folded
- a piece or section that has been foldeda fold of cloth
- a mark, crease, or hollow made by folding
- a hollow in undulating terrain
- a bend in stratified rocks that results from movements within the earth’s crust and produces such structures as anticlines and synclines
- anatomy another word for
- a coil, as in a rope, etc
- an act of folding
- a small enclosure or pen for sheep or other livestock, where they can be gathered
- the sheep or other livestock gathered in such an enclosure
- a flock of sheep
- a herd of Highland cattle
- a church or the members of it
- any group or community sharing a way of life or holding the same values
- (tr) to gather or confine (sheep or other livestock) in a fold
suffix forming adjectives, suffix forming adverbs
- having so many parts, being so many times as much or as many, or multiplied by so much or so manythreefold; three-hundredfold
Old English faldan (Mercian), fealdan (West Saxon), transitive, “to bend cloth back over itself,” class VII strong verb (past tense feold, past participle fealden), from Proto-Germanic *falthan, *faldan (cf. Middle Dutch vouden, Dutch vouwen, Old Norse falda, Middle Low German volden, Old High German faldan, German falten, Gothic falþan).
The Germanic words are from PIE *pel-to- (cf. Sanskrit putah “fold, pocket,” Albanian pale “fold,” Middle Irish alt “a joint,” Lithuanian pleta “I plait”), from root *pel- (3) “to fold” (cf. Greek ploos “fold,” Latin -plus).
The weak form developed from 15c. In late Old English also of the arms. Intransitive sense, “become folded” is from c.1300 (of the body or limbs); earlier “give way, fail” (mid-13c.). Sense of “to yield to pressure” is from late 14c. Related: Folded; folding.
“pen or enclosure for sheep or other domestic animals,” Old English falæd, falud “stall, stable, cattle-pen,” a general Germanic word (cf. East Frisian folt “enclosure, dunghill,” Dutch vaalt “dunghill,” Danish fold “pen for sheep”), of uncertain origin. Figurative use by mid-14c.
“a bend or ply in anything,” mid-13c., from(v.).
multiplicative suffix, from Old English -feald, related to Old Norse -faldr; German -falt; Gothic falþs; Greek -paltos, -plos; Latin -plus, and to (v.). Crowded out in English by Latinate double, triple, etc., but still in , , etc.
- A crease or ridge apparently formed by folding, as of a membrane; a plica.
- In the embryo, a transient elevation or reduplication of tissue in the form of a lamina.
- A bend in a layer of rock or in another planar feature such as foliation or the cleavage of a mineral. Folds occur as the result of deformation, usually associated with plate-tectonic forces.
In addition to the idioms beginning with fold
- fold one’s tent
- fold up
- return to the fold