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

Example Sentences

Suffix It will repay you tenfold.

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 10 Dec. 2022.

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

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)

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