unfold

verb
un·​fold | \ ˌən-ˈfōld How to pronounce unfold (audio) \
unfolded; unfolding; unfolds

Definition of unfold

transitive verb

1a : to open the folds of : spread or straighten out : expand unfolded the map
b : to remove (something, such as a package) from the folds : unwrap
2 : to open to the view : reveal especially : to make clear by gradual disclosure and often by recital

intransitive verb

1a : to open from a folded state : open out : expand
b : blossom
2 : develop, evolve as the story unfolds
3 : to open out gradually to the view or understanding : become known a panorama unfolds before their eyes

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Other Words from unfold

unfoldment \ ˌən-​ˈfōl(d)-​mənt How to pronounce unfoldment (audio) \ noun

Examples of unfold in a Sentence

The couch unfolds to form a bed. We'll have more news as events unfold. We watched the drama unfold on live television. As the story unfolds, we learn that the boy became an orphan when he was one year old.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Still, wardrobe has played a huge role in how the fantasy drama unfolded over the past eight years. Glamour, "Yes, the Game of Thrones Costumes "Always" Have a Hidden Meaning," 15 Apr. 2019 Though that teacher was very wrong in predicting how Chan’s career might unfold, becoming a trailblazer of Hollywood’s inclusion movement comes with its own challenges, particularly when entering a multi-billion dollar franchise. Yolanda Machado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gemma Chan Knows Hollywood Has a Long Way to Go with Inclusion," 2 Apr. 2019 When: October 27, 2019 How to Gain Entry: The registration process unfolds over several waves. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "4 Ways to Get Into the NYC Marathon—Plus 4 Marathons That Are Much Easier to Enter," 6 Nov. 2018 Both Juventus and Real Madrid fans will no doubt be keeping a close eye on how this transfer sage unfolds over the next few days. SI.com, "Juventus Club President Travels to Cristiano Ronaldo's Hotel in Greece Ahead of Proposed Transfer," 10 July 2018 Many questions remained unanswered Thursday about how the process of reunifications would unfold. Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times, "Trump Administration in Chaotic Scramble to Reunify Migrant Families," 5 July 2018 Capital Gazette reveals how shooting unfolded as memorial services begin in Annapolis The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trump faces flag dilemma: When should it be lowered to half-staff?," 2 July 2018 Much about how the rampage unfolded remains unclear. Jean Marbella, baltimoresun.com, "Capital Gazette shooting: How a quiet day in the newsroom was shattered," 1 July 2018 Or a one-time happy lover, now a jilted ex, may have a change of heart about how the relationship unfolded. Marcie Vaughan, Fortune, "Intel’s CEO Was Forced Out Over an Office Romance. Should It Have Been Allowed?," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unfold.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unfold

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

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Statistics for unfold

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unfold

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

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More Definitions for unfold

unfold

verb

English Language Learners Definition of unfold

: to spread or cause (something) to spread or straighten out from a folded position
: to happen as time passes
: to be told or made known

unfold

verb
un·​fold | \ ˌən-ˈfōld How to pronounce unfold (audio) \
unfolded; unfolding

Kids Definition of unfold

1 : to open the folds of : open up Carefully unfold the map.
2 : to lay open to view or understanding : reveal … Roscuro went on unfolding, step by step, his diabolical plan …— Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
3 : to develop gradually We learn the secret as the story unfolds.

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More from Merriam-Webster on unfold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unfold

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unfold

Spanish Central: Translation of unfold

Nglish: Translation of unfold for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unfold for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unfold

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