Definition of fold in English:



[with object]
  • 1Bend (something flexible and relatively flat) over on itself so that one part of it covers another.

    ‘Sam folded up the map’
    • ‘It would be nice to fold each side over about an inch and sew it just so it doesn't fray and start to look like a rag.’
    • ‘Individually they weigh about as much as a teabag, and can be folded up to approximately the size of a cornflake.’
    • ‘A thick, fraying comforter was folded up on one side of the futon.’
    • ‘He found a piece of paper folded in half on the top shelf in his locker.’
    • ‘All of it could be folded into a compact shape and packed into a container.’
    • ‘His clothes were nicely folded on a chair in the corner of the room.’
    • ‘With the help of a wooden spoon/spatula, fold the omelette in half.’
    • ‘With the spatula, fold one side over the strip of cheese.’
    • ‘She opened the door to see her PT gear freshly laundered and folded on top of her clean soft towel.’
    • ‘It was folded up inside an envelope that was about an inch long and an inch wide, which meant it was a business letter.’
    • ‘There's a finite number of cubes, and they don't really do anything once they're folded up and inside the body.’
    • ‘A figure lay in the middle of rumpled covers, a pile of clothes carefully folded on a nearby chair.’
    • ‘Once the art gallery exhibition closes on June 6, the quilts will be folded up and put back in their storage boxes.’
    • ‘Place stuffing in the centre and then fold the sides together.’
    • ‘The hidden place, where expression becomes impression and the outside world folds inward, is still here.’
    • ‘The noncoding regions always have a high potential for folding into hairpins and loops.’
    • ‘To prepare it, wash the leaves, then fold in half and cut out the tough center rib.’
    • ‘Did this mean it was folded up and taken away at the end of the day?’
    • ‘I searched the room for my cloths and found them washed and folded on a small table.’
    • ‘The latter region has the potential to fold into a hairpin secondary structure.’
    double, double over, double up, crease, turn under, turn up, turn over, bend, overlap
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    1. 1.1fold something in/into Mix an ingredient gently with (another ingredient), especially by lifting a mixture with a spoon so as to enclose it without stirring or beating.
      ‘fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture’
      • ‘To finish the bisque, in a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the bisque until smooth.’
      • ‘Add 1/2 cup of the heavy cream to the egg nog mixture, slowly folding it in.’
      • ‘Remove bowl from the machine and gently fold in the sifted flour using a plastic spatula.’
      • ‘In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the mixture.’
      • ‘Gently fold the meringue into the creme anglaise.’
      • ‘Lightly whip the cream into soft peaks, then gently fold it in to achieve the required whipped consistency.’
      • ‘Fold in sifted flour alternatively with milk - mixture should resemble whipped cream.’
      • ‘Finally, very stiffly whisked egg whites are folded into the mixture.’
      • ‘Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg white into the batter.’
      mix, blend, stir gently
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    2. 1.2no object (of a piece of furniture or equipment) be able to be bent or rearranged into a flatter or more compact shape, typically in order to make it easier to store or carry.
      with complement ‘the deckchair folds flat’
      • ‘However, the rear seats do fold down flat, greatly increasing your luggage space.’
      • ‘Even the front passenger seat folds flat for those really long loads while the dual-opening tailgate is a useful feature.’
      • ‘The third row seat folds flat into the floor - either entirely, or as a 60/40 split.’
      • ‘When not in use, the cage/crate folds flat for easy transport and storage.’
      • ‘The second row comes either with a bench or captain's chairs, while the third row folds flat into the floor.’
      • ‘As each stall folds flat, the entire barrier can be packed up and moved by truck or trailer.’
      • ‘The way the back seats fold flat to create the boot and swivel round so you can watch an event or have a picnic would be a selling point.’
      • ‘The front passenger seat can fold flat to act as a picnic table or worktop.’
      • ‘The third row bench folds absolutely flat, but needs some muscle to raise and lower.’
      • ‘The whole assortment is contained in a black cordura carrying case that folds into a surprisingly compact package.’
      • ‘Although the seats don't fold completely flat, space is still ample.’
      • ‘The smaller third-row seat folds flat into the floor, with the cushion sliding forward into the foot-well, and the backrest following it down.’
      • ‘The third seat folds flat, but unlike newer vehicles, doesn't disappear into the floor.’
      • ‘Weighing only 26 ounces, the chair folds into a small, compact package and can be assembled or disassembled in seconds.’
      • ‘When the ladder is not in use, most designs have a feature that allows them to fold flat against the wall to free up additional floor space.’
      • ‘The equipment folds on to a lorry and the centrepiece is a half pipe that is hydraulically operated.’
      • ‘The back of the passenger seat folds flat to provide a useful work surface.’
    3. 1.3 Bend or rearrange (a piece of furniture or equipment) into a flatter or more compact shape.
      ‘the small card table was folded up and put away’
      • ‘If more space is required, the armrests can be folded up to get them out of the way.’
      • ‘Once he was standing, he folded the chair up, and leaned it against the wall between the bed and the desk.’
      • ‘Reese had folded the seats down and laid crisp clean blankets down on them and had propped pillows up so Genesis could rest.’
      • ‘While breakfast was arriving, the tents were carefully folded up and placed into their carrying bags.’
      • ‘When you fold the seats, the Tourer is even more spacious than the Swedish pair.’
      • ‘He folds his chair and, chin high, marches across the street to a military tune that haunts his mind.’
      • ‘He nodded and reached back into the plane to fold his seat forward and grabbed their bags.’
      • ‘Three seats are folded back to facilitate a wheelchair.’
      • ‘With all the back seats used, luggage room is still a class leading 430-litres, and fold the seats away and there is 1,300-litres.’
      • ‘A longer load can be accommodated by folding the passenger seat.’
      • ‘The seats are folded down, and if I lie diagonally, I can almost stretch out fully.’
      • ‘Soccer moms would love it; so would the kids, fold the huge rear seats down, and kids can almost play soccer inside the vehicle.’
      • ‘Both mirrors can also be folded flat when passing space is at a premium.’
      • ‘The usual set-up of tables was gone, leaving the area blank; the tables were folded up and shoved to the various walls.’
      • ‘When not in use, the fishing apparatus is folded back along the second dorsal spine and tucked safely away.’
      • ‘When all seats are folded, the vehicle provides more than 90 cubic feet of cargo space.’
      • ‘The seats are set higher and the rear ones have a slide adjustment and can also be folded flat into the floor.’
      • ‘You, Tony, have got to be willing to sweep the floor and fold the chairs.’
      • ‘You can swiftly restore this area to its primitive state, of course, by folding the seats aside and reversing the rug.’
      • ‘Without showing any signs of difficulty, she folded the chair using only one hand, and walked off.’
    4. 1.4fold outno object Be able to be opened out; unfold.
      ‘the sofa folds out’
      • ‘The plastic marvel even had a sort of visor that folded out to keep the drops off Marge's thick bifocals.’
      • ‘I'm excited too, because it means I get to buy lots of cool stuff that folds out.’
      • ‘The sofa folds out into a bed - which is fully made and fairly comfortable.’
      • ‘I liked the nicely designed menu, which folds out into a triangular shape.’
      • ‘The result of their work was a calendar, which will come in a CD box and can be folded out to sit on a desk, or table.’
      • ‘The steel frame and the scrim it supports are folded out at the base and extended around the open edges of the piazza as a canopy.’
      • ‘The Screen Machine folds out like a clever bit of metal origami.’
      • ‘The main door popped open and the stairs folded out.’
      • ‘On the courtyard side, full-height panels made of perforated aluminium fold out crisply like a concertina to open up the house.’
      • ‘It is made in sections, with pre-formed grooves, and folds out to low coffee-table height - ideal for picnics.’
    5. 1.5Geology Cause (rock strata) to undergo bending or curvature.
      ‘a more active period of igneous activity caused intense folding’
      • ‘The Mesozoic layers, probably SW-tilted after the Mesozoic extension, were also folded.’
      • ‘Even the youngest Triassic rocks are strongly folded, in places by isoclinal, recumbent folds.’
      • ‘These units have been strongly folded and thrust during the Miocene.’
      • ‘In the outcrop, this is a low-dipping cleavage folded by open steep folds.’
      • ‘Cross-cutting dykes are folded, partly transposed or boudinaged in the gneissose foliation.’
    6. 1.6Biochemistry (of a polypeptide or polynucleotide chain) adopt a specific three-dimensional structure.
      • ‘Membrane and water-soluble proteins commonly fold into bundles of alpha-helices.’
      • ‘The rate at which proteins fold decreases with increasing complexity of their folds, a ‘topological’ effect.’
      • ‘Following cleavage of the 24 amino acid signal peptide the protein folds into proinsulin.’
      • ‘Most small proteins can spontaneously fold to form biologically functional structures.’
      • ‘There were also force curves consistent with an attachment of a globular structure folded by an entangled DNA molecule.’
  • 2with adverbial Cover or wrap something in (a soft or flexible material)

    ‘a bag was folded around the book’
    • ‘Fortunately, the full lengths were not cut down, but were shortened by folding the unwanted canvas over a shorter stretcher.’
    • ‘The paper was successively folded over or covered so that each participant could not see what his or her predecessor had done.’
    • ‘Season and fold the rice paper to enclose the cod, transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan and set aside.’
    • ‘A plastic sheet was folded on top, enclosing me in a warm, slightly scratchy cocoon.’
    • ‘Finish by folding the overhanging pasta on top and level terrine with an additional layer of pasta.’
    • ‘These slipcovers often involve folding the slipcover material around the cushions and securing it with ties.’
    • ‘A flat strip of ‘soft’ iron is folded in half around a mandrel to create the socket.’
    • ‘Ten slips of paper were folded into a plastic bag, and they drew lots.’
    1. 2.1 Hold or clasp (someone) in one's arms affectionately or passionately.
      ‘Bob folded her in his arms’
      • ‘He folded her in a painful embrace and held onto her as if he was hanging on for sweet life itself.’
      • ‘Irene finally found the concern that she was looking for when Griffin folded her into a hug.’
      • ‘Bending his head, he pressed his lips gently against her own, folding her in his embrace before she could shy away.’
      • ‘As soon as we could free her wrists and ankles, she sat up and I folded her into the biggest hug I could muster.’
      • ‘He walks over to you and folds you gently into his arms.’
      • ‘Trent came up behind Ally and folded her into his arms.’
      • ‘Kyle folds her into his arms, and though she struggles to sit up, to raise her head, he holds her on her back like she's a newborn.’
      • ‘He says nothing, and I chuckle, folding him into my arms and pulling the covers up over both of us.’
      • ‘Mark folded me into his arms, but didn't say a word.’
      • ‘She laughed and hugged him, folding him in her wings for a second.’
      • ‘One wing tip caressed Yuki's hair, then folded her into a tight embrace.’
      • ‘He whispered when he reached her, folding her in his arms.’
      • ‘He went to his new bride and, kneeling on the floor next to her chair, folded her into his embrace.’
      • ‘He folded her into his arms, forgetting that he knew her arms were a great treachery.’
      • ‘Jess walked over and let herself be folded into a comforting embrace, lifted up until she was seated securely on his lap.’
      • ‘He folded me in his arms and I stayed there with my arms closed.’
      • ‘Alexander folded her into his arms and gently stroked her sun golden hair.’
      • ‘It was Isobel, who rushed towards her and folded her into her arms.’
      • ‘Lyn folds Steph up in her bingo wings and says ‘Oh sweetheart, good heavens, what's happened?’’
      • ‘She was at least half a head taller than Rhyll, and folded him in a huge embrace, lifting him off the ground.’
      enfold, wrap, wrap up, envelop
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  • 3informal no object (of an enterprise or organization) cease trading or operating as a result of financial problems.

    ‘the club folded earlier this year’
    • ‘This meeting was arranged following the sensational declaration by chairman John Stabler that the club had folded as of Tuesday night.’
    • ‘Among his methods was pointing to a map in which red dots represented clubs that had folded.’
    • ‘The price of shares will plunge to zero and, shorn of its source of capital, the enterprise is forced to fold.’
    • ‘Remove that component and the whole enterprise could fold, denying a further service to the community.’
    • ‘Club directors stunned fans last Tuesday by announcing that the club had folded, and that the company had ceased trading.’
    • ‘If it was allowed to fold these women would lose a lifeline and this would put a greater burden on other statutory services.’
    • ‘But the club folded when the landlord of The Ship Inn retired and the pub subsequently closed.’
    • ‘His business folded in less than a year, as the Egyptians just didn't understand the concept.’
    • ‘What good was a rewards program if it folded in a year?’
    • ‘It folded earlier this month, with the loss of 65 jobs.’
    • ‘Many ASPs have folded in the past 18 months, a trend that's sure to continue.’
    • ‘What might shareholders, bankers, and staff lose financially if the firm folded?’
    • ‘However, the project folded because the instrument was too expensive for commercialization.’
    • ‘The company folded in 1892 and the ensuing financial collapse reverberated through the French Empire for more than a decade.’
    • ‘Andrew, who has been a City season ticket holder for 13 years, said it would be catastrophic if the club folded.’
    • ‘These days, it seems as if most e-commerce news focuses on which sites are folding, who's being bought and which top executives are stepping down.’
    • ‘By 1835 the regime had imposed stricter censorship than the Restoration and the republican clubs folded.’
    • ‘Major league baseball is ‘paying the owner of Montreal and the owner of Florida to fold their teams’.’
    • ‘The government would cut all the funding to NASA, and the organization would fold.’
    • ‘It looks set to outlast the previous such establishment which folded a couple of years ago, apparently due to lack of interest.’
    fail, collapse, crash, founder, be ruined, cave in
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    1. 3.1 (especially of a sports player or team) suddenly stop performing well or effectively.
      • ‘Weaker teams would have folded after the trauma of their captain's banishment.’
      • ‘He's as calm under pressure as any other player on this roster and won't fold in the pressure-cooker of the World Cup.’
      • ‘On a day when the boo birds were out and the team could have folded, Brooks sparked an important victory.’
      • ‘They've been there, they've done it, they rarely fold under psychological pressure.’
      • ‘Their bargain-bin lineup has a Triple-A whiff to it, and they could easily fold in the second half, like they did last season.’
      • ‘I was surprised by how quickly the Dublin team folded and threw in the towel once Dara Ó Cinnéide scored his goal.’
      • ‘Not so long ago, a GB team would have folded when the Aussies hit back with a couple of tries but they showed immense character - it was great to see.’
      • ‘Then, this summer, our adopted Italian team folded with debts in the region of £100 million and the entire squad was put up for sale.’
      • ‘The Oilers had some success with it, sure, but they always folded in the playoffs.’
      • ‘In the past, especially in big games, Stewart has folded when given the team's lead role.’
      • ‘Fermanagh teams would fold when the finishing line was in sight, they wouldn't be able to cross it.’
      • ‘After the last player folded and the game broke up, whatever civility the two sides had mustered quickly evaporated.’
      • ‘They couldn't hold it, but a statement was made - Parcells' team wouldn't fold.’
      • ‘‘Those other teams would always fold one way or the other; you could count on it,’ says one SEC assistant coach.’
      • ‘But, I was surprised when the Lankan team folded up under two sessions in the second innings of this Test.’
      • ‘The team could easily have folded; they had an automatic crutch.’
      • ‘The team is folding under pressure, and coach Pat Riley is getting angry.’
      • ‘Experienced, disciplined teams can frustrate the Tigers, who can fold under pressure.’
      • ‘Teams so often fold up facing a mountainous task like the one before Australia.’
      • ‘I remember the good ole days when Laura would totally fold under the pressure.’
    2. 3.2 (in poker and other card games) drop out of a hand.
      • ‘When folding you permanently drop out of the betting and sacrifice any money you have already put into the pot during that deal.’
      • ‘One player folds, and Ness is left to deal with the man who has the biggest stack at the table.’
      • ‘Weak players fold to these bets much more than they should.’
      • ‘A player folds by discarding her hand immediately face down on the table.’
      • ‘I bet, get raised, and we end up capping it with the other player folding.’


  • above (or below) the fold

    • 1Printed in the top (or bottom) half of the front page of a broadsheet newspaper and so visible (or not visible) when the paper is folded.

      ‘they're holding four column inches above the fold’
      • ‘The Los Angeles Times ran the story on the 25th (front page below the fold) and used three microphotographs from the Science article.’
      • ‘But, the former is above the fold on the front page of the NY Times.’
      • ‘We also know that newspaper stories that start above the fold are more important than stories that start below the fold.’
      • ‘The normally reserved New York Times published a daily transcript of the trial and kept the story on page one, above the fold, for months on end.’
      • ‘Then fight to get your story on the front page, above the fold, with the big headline and a photo.’
      • ‘What reporters really want is their byline on the front page above the fold.’
      • ‘That piece was neatly tucked away on page 2C, below the fold.’
      • ‘It ran on Page One of the Star-Tribune, above the fold.’
      • ‘It's on the front page, but it's below the fold; the article is fairly short; the tone suggests this is all just another presidential photo op.’
      • ‘But "The Washington Post" or "The New York Times" is not going to run a silly frivolous story above the fold.’
    • 2Positioned in the upper (or lower) half of a web page and so visible (or not visible) without scrolling down the page.

      ‘click-through yield on ads below the fold is lower’
      • ‘The three-column format of the home page brings more of the content "above the fold" and provides areas for images, section navigation, and news and event information.’
      • ‘But there is a lot of detailed argument, which I will stick below the fold.’
      • ‘So what information you put above the fold is crucial.’
      • ‘While arguments about getting more links, content, and important elements "above the fold" are common, more sites are taking advantage of the entire Web page, adding useful elements to the bottom of the page.’
      • ‘Placement of the subscription box should be preferably above the fold or in a pop-up.’
      • ‘The rest of this post is below the fold.’
      • ‘Your product should be displayed above the fold of your web page.’
      • ‘Because these were screen captures, only information "above the fold" (or scroll) was visible.’
      • ‘Place enough content above the fold to allow your visitor to make a decision about continuing on the site.’
      • ‘Place conversion exits above the fold and at every scroll-and-a-half of screen space.’
  • fold one's arms

    • Bring one's arms together and cross them over one's chest.

      • ‘He was leaning on his arms, which were folded on top of some strange soft thing.’
      • ‘‘No it wasn't,’ the twins chimed in together, folding their arms simultaneously.’
      • ‘Leaning against the edge of the desk, Nick folds his arms across his thick chest.’
      • ‘‘Apparently they're getting back together,’ I said sighing and folding my arms against my chest.’
      • ‘Sulking a little, the boy folded his arms over his chest and sat with his legs crossed.’
      • ‘When in the presence of a vampire, fold your arms, cross your ankles or legs and place your folded arms across your solar plexus.’
      • ‘I folded my arms together in front of me and rested my head on them.’
      • ‘Chrissy got up and sat down on her bed with her arms neatly folded on her lap.’
      • ‘Lying there, his face turned up and arms folded neatly in his lap, was in fact Yuuhi.’
      • ‘She crossed her legs and folded her arms across her chest.’
  • fold one's hands

    • Bring or hold one's hands together.

      • ‘‘Twenty-million dollars worth,’ J.P. said, folding his hands together in satisfaction.’
      • ‘His lip was trembling, his hands shaking even though they were folded in front of him.’
      • ‘‘Good, now that you are all here, I can give you the news,’ the doctor said, folding his hands together and closing his eyes.’
      • ‘He asked seriously, his hands coming up to fold together high up on his chest.’
      • ‘She listened intently as I told her my story, her hands folded gently in her lap.’
      • ‘Raising a silent finger to his lips, he slides into his chair and folds his hands together like nothing happened.’
      • ‘Aaron sat staring at his hands, which were folded in front of him, for a long time.’
      • ‘His hands were folded across his chest and he was pacing behind the best.’
      • ‘Her cheeks flushed bright red under her small, white cap as she nervously folded her hands- and unfolded them again.’
      • ‘She folds her hands together, and gives me a serious look.’


Old English falden, fealden, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vouwen and German falten.





[with object]
  • Shut (livestock) in a fold.