unfold

verb un·fold \ ˌən-ˈfōld \
Updated on: 20 May 2018

Definition of unfold

1 a : 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
1 a : 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

unfoldment

play \ˌən-ˈfōl(d)-mənt\ noun

Examples of unfold in a Sentence

  1. The couch unfolds to form a bed.

  2. We'll have more news as events unfold.

  3. We watched the drama unfold on live television.

  4. As the story unfolds, we learn that the boy became an orphan when he was one year old.

Recent Examples of unfold from the Web

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.

First Known Use of unfold

before 12th century

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

UNFOLD Defined for English Language Learners

unfold

Definition of unfold for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

unfold

verb un·fold \ ˌən-ˈfōld \

Definition of unfold for Students

unfolded; unfolding
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.


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

good-natured ridicule

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!