unfold

verb un·fold \ ˌən-ˈfōld \

Definition of unfold

transitive verb
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
intransitive verb
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

unfold Synonyms

Synonyms
expand, extend, fan (out), flare (out), outspread, outstretch, spread (out), stretch (out), open, unfurl
Antonyms
close, contract, fold
Related Words
overspread
Near Antonyms
compact, compress, condense, reduce

UNFOLD Defined for English Language Learners

unfold

verb

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.


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