Meaning of FOLD in English

I. ˈfōld noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English fold, fald, from Old English falod, falud, fald; akin to Old Saxon faled pen, enclosure, Middle Low German vālt pen, enclosure, manure heap, Middle Dutch vaelt, vaelde, and perhaps to Old Norse fjöl plank, Old High German spaltan to split — more at spill


a. : an enclosure for sheep : pen

b. Britain : a small portable wire enclosure that is commonly attached to a coop or hutch for moving poultry or rabbits about onto fresh grass


a. : a flock of sheep

b. : a group, institution or organization providing spiritual salvation or paternal guidance, care, and protection : the company of the faithful or of the righteous : the adherents of a common religious or political belief

the fold of Protestantism

a drift into the Republican fold

3. dialect England : an enclosed area or yard adjoining or surrounding a house

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English folden, from fold (I) , n.

1. : to pen up or confine (as sheep) in a fold or on a crop to be grazed


a. : to pen sheep for the fertilization of (land)

b. : to pen grazing animals for the harvesting of (a crop)

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English folden, falden, from Old English fealdan; akin to Old High German faldan to fold, Old Norse falda to fold, cover the head, Gothic falthan to roll up, fold, Latin du plus double, Greek di plasios twofold, Sanskrit puṭati he covers with, puṭa fold

transitive verb

1. : to lay one part over another part of : double upon itself : lay in pleats

fold a length of cloth

fold a letter

fold printed sheets for binding

fold over the edge to make a hem

2. : to reduce the length or bulk of by doubling over or lapping over

fold a tent

folded his long legs under the chair

— often used with up

the bedding was folded up and stowed away

3. : to clasp together (as the hands) : entwine

fold your arms

the bird folds its wings

4. : to clasp or enwrap closely : envelop , embrace , surround

folding her son to her breast

a village folded away in the hills

5. : to bend (a surface or stratum) into folds


a. : to incorporate (a food ingredient) into a mixture by repeated overturnings without stirring or beating

fold beaten egg whites into cake mix

fold raisins into batter

b. : to incorporate closely : make a part of something (as by enveloping)

all sorts of persons, places, and animals have been folded into this version of Tolstoy's vision — Philip Hamburger

7. : ply I 1b


a. : to turn (one's cards) facedown to concede defeat or indicate dropping

b. : to bring (as a business venture) to an end : close up

after a few months he decided to fold the magazine

intransitive verb

1. : to become doubled or pleated : become flatter or smaller by doubling

the bed folds into a recess in the wall

— often used with up

watched him fold up into the seat

the map folds up into a handy case

2. : to fold up

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English fold, folde, from folden, v.

1. : a doubling or folding over especially of a flexible substance : the manner in which something is folded

an accordion fold is used for maps

2. : a part doubled or laid over another part : pleat , bend , plication

hidden in the folds of the curtain

folds of a banner

: layer , coat

3. : a coil of a snake

4. archaic : one side of a double door or gate : leaf

5. : the pages or leaves of a book formed by folding one sheet of paper


a. : a bend or flexure into an arch or a trough produced in rock by forces operative after the depositing or consolidation of the rock — see anticline , syncline

b. chiefly Britain : an undulation in the landscape either upward (as a low rounded hill) or downward (as a hollow)

7. anatomy : a margin apparently formed by the doubling upon itself of a membrane or other flat structure : plica , ruga

neural folds

vocal folds

8. : ply 2a

9. : the crease made by folding a newspaper in half

a headline should not be placed across the fold

10. : folder 2

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.