fold

1 of 5

verb (1)

folded; folding; folds

transitive verb

1
: to lay one part over another part of
fold a letter
2
: to reduce the length or bulk of by doubling over
fold a tent
3
: to clasp together : entwine
fold the hands
4
: to clasp or enwrap closely : embrace
5
a
: to incorporate (a food ingredient) into a mixture by repeated gentle overturnings without stirring or beating
b
: to incorporate closely
6
a
: to concede defeat by withdrawing (one's cards) from play (as in poker)
b
: to bring to an end
7
: to bend (something, such as a layer of rock) into folds

intransitive verb

1
: to become doubled or pleated
2
: to fail completely : collapse
especially : to go out of business
3
: to fold one's cards (as in poker)

fold

2 of 5

noun (1)

1
: a part doubled or laid over another part : pleat
2
: a crease made by folding something (such as a newspaper)
3
: something that is folded together or that enfolds
4
a
: a bend or flexure produced in rock by forces operative after the depositing or consolidation of the rock
b
chiefly British : an undulation in the landscape
5
: a margin apparently formed by the doubling upon itself of a flat anatomical structure (such as a membrane)

Illustration of fold

Illustration of fold
  • fold 4a

fold

3 of 5

noun (2)

1
a
: a group of people or institutions that share a common faith, belief, activity, or enthusiasm
His former colleagues would be glad to welcome him back into the fold.
b
: a flock of sheep
2
: an enclosure for sheep

fold

4 of 5

verb (2)

folded; folding; folds

transitive verb

: to pen up or confine (sheep) in a fold

-fold

5 of 5

suffix

1
: multiplied by (a specified number) : times
in adjectives
a sixfold increase
and adverbs
repay you tenfold
2
: having (so many) parts
threefold aspect of the problem

Examples of fold in a Sentence

Suffix It will repay you tenfold.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The jacket can be folded up and stowed into the chest pocket — great for your hiking backpack. Olivia Avitt, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2024 As the United States Congress continues to dither over new military aid, elections in Ukraine became folded into the debate by some Republicans. Andrew Carey, Olga Voitovych, and Svitlana Vlasova, CNN, 31 Mar. 2024 Gently stir one-third of egg whites into batter; fold in remaining egg whites. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 30 Mar. 2024 Because of the pandemic, the AMPTP did not bargain with the IATSE locals individually in 2021, and instead folded some of those concerns into the general talks on the Basic Agreement. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 29 Mar. 2024 But Take Note This folding mattress doesn't require any assembly—just take it right out of the box. Ambrosia V. Brody, Parents, 28 Mar. 2024 Instead of waiting until 5:07 p.m. to open the parking lot gates, the A’s folded their cards and opened the gates soon after 4 p.m. Cars began flooding into the parking lot. Jason Mastrodonato, The Mercury News, 28 Mar. 2024 To start, fold a piece of cardstock in half (ours was 4 inches x 8 inches). Nicole Harris, Parents, 20 Mar. 2024 Next, add all of the cheese and about half of the egg mixture and fold until combined, pulling the wet mixture from the edges into the center. Christina Morales, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Mar. 2024
Noun
The organizations highlighted above, each with their own unique offerings and communities, stand ready to welcome entrepreneurs into a fold where collaboration and growth are the norms. John Hall, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 When playtime is over, the entire set folds up and turns into a backpack with adjustable straps. Maya Polton, Parents, 23 Mar. 2024 This 2024 iteration folds in concerns of technological malfeasance evocative of the Cambridge Analytica scandal alongside a resurgent far right and widespread apprehension about the very electoral process. Ben Croll, Variety, 21 Mar. 2024 Investment increased ten fold in these technologies between the fourth quarter of 2023 and the same period a year prior. Justin Worland, TIME, 1 Mar. 2024 The top-secret plan to bring Kate Middleton back into public fold after photo backlash. Fox News, 21 Mar. 2024 Instead of examining her life from a great height, Nicole is deep within its folds, figuring out what it’s made of and how to hold all its threads together. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2024 There’s also the general unpredictability of putting enormous muscle pressure on the vocal cords, which are just thumbnail-size folds of tissue inside the larynx. Marc Hogan, The Atlantic, 1 Mar. 2024 The lodge was on Harding Lake, pricked with islands dressed in showy hats of spruce, birch, and poplar, their leaves wrapped in folds of icy lace. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, 29 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fold.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Old English fealdan; akin to Old High German faldan to fold, Greek diplasios twofold

Noun (2) and Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English falod; akin to Old Saxon faled enclosure

Suffix

Middle English, from Old English -feald; akin to Old High German -falt -fold, Latin -plex, -plus, Old English fealdan

First Known Use

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fold was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near fold

Cite this Entry

“Fold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fold. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

fold

1 of 5 noun
1
: a pen for sheep
2
: a group of people with a common faith or interest

fold

2 of 5 verb
: to shut up in a fold

fold

3 of 5 verb
1
: to lay one part over or against another part
fold a letter
birds folding their wings
2
: to clasp together
fold the hands
3
4
: to bend (as a layer of rock) into folds
5
: to add (a food ingredient) to a mixture by gently and repeatedly lifting one part over another
6
: to become doubled or pleated
7
: to fail completely
the business folded

fold

4 of 5 noun
1
: a doubling or folding over
2
: a part doubled or laid over another part
3
: a bend produced in rock

-fold

5 of 5 suffix
ˌfōld,
ˈfōld
1
: multiplied by (a specified number) : times
in adjectives
a twelvefold increase
and adverbs
repay you tenfold
2
: having (so many) parts
a threefold problem
Etymology

Noun

Old English falod "pen for sheep"

Verb

Old English fealdan "to fold, make double thickness"

Suffix

Old English -feald (suffix) "being increased (so many) times"

Medical Definition

fold

1 of 2 intransitive verb
: to become doubled or pleated

fold

2 of 2 noun
: a margin apparently formed by the doubling upon itself of a flat anatomical structure (as a membrane)

More from Merriam-Webster on fold

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