to bend (cloth, paper, etc.) over upon itself:[~ + object]I folded the paper neatly in half.
to make or become compact by bending and laying parts together: [~ (+ up) + object]I always have trouble folding (up) highway maps.[~ + object (+ up)]Sometimes I can't fold them (up) neatly.[no object; (~ + up)]The bed folds (up) to save space.
to bring together and intertwine or cross:[~ + object]folded his arms.
Zoology to bring (the wings) close to the body:[~ + object]The bird landed and folded its wings.
to enclose; wrap; envelop:[~ + object]She folded the apple in paper.
to embrace or clasp; enfold:[~ + object]to fold her in my arms.
to (cause to) go out of business: [no object]The magazine folded after a few weeks.[~ + object]The publishers folded the magazine.
to (cause to) end a show; close: [no object]The show will fold next week.[~ + object]The producers folded the show.
Foodfold in, [ ~ + in + obj] to blend (a cooking ingredient) into a mixture by gently turning one part over another:Fold in the egg whites.
fold out or down,[no object] to spread or open up; unfold:The couch folds out to a queen-size bed.
-fold is attached to words that refer to a number or quantity to form adjectives with the meanings "having the number of kinds or parts'' or "multiplied the number of times'':four + -fold → fourfold (= multiplied four times);many + -fold → manyfold (= having many parts or kinds).
to bring into a compact form by bending and laying parts together (often fol. by up):to fold up a map; to fold one's legs under oneself.
to bring (the arms, hands, etc.) together in an intertwined or crossed manner; clasp; cross:He folded his arms on his chest.
to bend or wind (usually fol. by about, round, etc.):to fold one's arms about a person's neck.
Zoologyto bring (the wings) close to the body, as a bird on alighting.
to enclose; wrap; envelop:to fold something in paper.
to embrace or clasp; enfold:to fold someone in one's arms.
Games[Cards.]to place (one's cards) facedown so as to withdraw from the play.
Informal Termsto bring to an end; close up:The owner decided to fold the business and retire.
to be folded or be capable of folding:The doors fold back.
Games[Cards.]to place one's cards facedown so as to withdraw from the play.
Informal Termsto fail in business; be forced to close:The newspaper folded after 76 years.
Informal Termsto yield or give in:Dad folded and said we could go after all.
Foodfold in,[Cookery.]to mix in or add (an ingredient) by gently turning one part over another:Fold in the egg whites.
Informal Termsfold up:
to break down; collapse:He folded up when the prosecutor discredited his story.
to fail, esp. to go out of business.
a part that is folded; pleat; layer:folds of cloth.
a crease made by folding:He cut the paper along the fold.
a hollow made by folding:to carry something in the fold of one's dress.
a hollow place in undulating ground:a fold of the mountains.
Geologya portion of strata that is folded or bent, as an anticline or syncline, or that connects two horizontal or parallel portions of strata of different levels (as a monocline).
the line formed along the horizontal center of a standard-sized newspaper when it is folded after printing.
a rough-and-ready dividing line, esp. on the front page and other principal pages, between stories of primary and lesser importance.
a coil of a serpent, string, etc.
the act of folding or doubling over.
Anatomya margin or ridge formed by the folding of a membrane or other flat body part; plica.
bef. 900; (verb, verbal) Middle English folden, falden, Old English faldan; cognate with German. falten; (verb, verbal) Middle English fald, derivative of thenoun, nominal; akin to Latin plicāre to fold, plectere to plait, twine, Greek plékein; compare -fold
Animal Husbandryan enclosure for sheep or, occasionally, other domestic animals.
Animal Husbandrythe sheep kept within it.
Animal Husbandrya flock of sheep.
Religionthe members of a church; congregation:He preached to the fold.
a group sharing common beliefs, values, etc.:He rejoined the fold after his youthful escapade.
to confine (sheep or other domestic animals) in a fold.
bef. 900; Middle English fold, fald, Old English fald, falod; akin to Old Saxon faled pen, enclosure, Middle Low German vālt pen, enclosure, manure heap, Middle Dutch vaelt, vaelde
a native English suffix meaning "of so many parts,'' or denoting multiplication by the number indicated by the stem or word to which the suffix is attached:twofold; manifold.
Middle English; Old English -fald, -feald, cognate with Old Frisian, Old Saxon -fald, German -falt, Old Norse -faldr, Gothic -falths, all representing the Gmc base of fold1; akin to Greek -ploos, -plous (see haplo-, diplo-), Latin -plus (see simple,double, etc.), -plex -plex