\ ˈfōld How to pronounce fold (audio) \
folded; folding; folds

Definition of fold

 (Entry 1 of 5)

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
5a : to incorporate (a food ingredient) into a mixture by repeated gentle overturnings without stirring or beating
b : to incorporate closely
6a : 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)

Definition of fold (Entry 2 of 5)

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
4a : 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)

Definition of fold (Entry 3 of 5)

1a : 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
folded; folding; folds

Definition of fold (Entry 4 of 5)

transitive verb

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

-fold

suffix

Definition of -fold (Entry 5 of 5)

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

Illustration of fold

Illustration of fold

Noun (1)

fold 4a

In the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fold

Verb (1)

foldable \ ˈfōl-​də-​bəl How to pronounce foldable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for fold

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb (2)

Antonyms: Verb (2)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fold in a Sentence

Suffix It will repay you tenfold.

First Known Use of fold

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

History and Etymology for fold

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fold

Time Traveler for fold

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fold

Cite this Entry

“Fold.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fold. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fold

-fold

suffix

English Language Learners Definition of -fold

: multiplied by (a specified number) : times
: having (so many) parts

fold

noun
\ ˈfōld How to pronounce fold (audio) \

Kids Definition of fold

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: an enclosure for sheep

fold

verb
folded; folding

Kids Definition of fold (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : to lay one part over or against another part fold a blanket
2 : to clasp together fold your hands
3 : embrace entry 1 sense 1 She folded the child in her arms.

fold

noun

Kids Definition of fold (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : an act or the result of laying one part over or against another With just a few folds he made a paper airplane.
2 : a part laid over another part the folds of the curtain
3 : a bend produced in a rock layer by pressure

-fold

suffix
\ ˌfōld \

Kids Definition of -fold

1 : multiplied by a specified number : times
Hint: -fold is used in adjectives a twelvefold increase repay tenfold
2 : having so many parts a threefold problem
\ ˈfōld How to pronounce fold (audio) \

Medical Definition of fold

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become doubled or pleated

fold

noun

Medical Definition of fold (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fold

Spanish Central: Translation of fold

Nglish: Translation of fold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fold for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fold

Comments on fold

What made you want to look up fold? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!