Definition of folio in English:



  • 1An individual leaf of paper or parchment, either loose as one of a series or forming part of a bound volume, which is numbered on the recto or front side only.

    • ‘Each leaf or folio has two pages and these were normally marked out for the text and any illumination by a process of pricking and ruling using a variety of instruments.’
    • ‘Today it has been pulled apart, the folios bound to a cardboard binder.’
    • ‘Do I find in the appeal book the folio which is said to record the estate or interests of the appellant?’
    • ‘These reports are typed on huge folio pages with numerous data categories.’
    • ‘The oldest item is a double folio of exquisite calligraphy from a 14th Century Quran of uncertain provenance - Turkish perhaps or Central Asian.’
    • ‘The folios will debut at Artexpo New York along with a limited-edition giclee print of ‘Moon Rider.’’
    • ‘Eighty-seven folios of the Book of Animals (about one-tenth of the original text by al-Jahiz) are preserved in the Ambrosiana Library in Milan.’
    • ‘The Khamsa is part of it, complete but for eight folios that had been torn out earlier and were bequeathed to the Met in 1913.’
    • ‘The action continues on the facing folio, another full-page miniature, this time divided into two registers.’
    • ‘What made him pen this immense book (382 folio pages in the original Turkish) and how on earth did he find the time?’
    • ‘‘Restored and put under glass, the folios could be gingerly handled, and it was possible to photograph all the pages,’ he said.’
    • ‘Certain illuminations from his Book of Hours condemn the duke's enemies, the most striking example being a folio accompanying the Vigils of the Dead.’
    • ‘The five volumes consisted of an octavo of 786 pages of descriptive matter and four imperial folios containing 213 plates.’
    sheet, side, leaf
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    1. 1.1 The page number in a printed book.
      • ‘The commentary on verse 1 of Romans just cited from folio 8 of the Soane manuscript reappears with minor changes in the printed edition of 1542.’
      • ‘The specific piece of evidence is an entry given within the book, on the front of folio 327, dating from 1635.’
      • ‘At folio 23, your Honour, the date is 26 February.’
      • ‘The combination of second-person speech and frontal gaze of the princess on folio 3v indicates to him that the book was expressly produced for her young foreign eyes.’
      • ‘In folio 145, he described, for the first time, in medical history, a haemorrhagic disease transmitted by unaffected women to their male children - today we call it haemophilia.’
      • ‘The earlier set of ordinances are on folios 17-19, the original custumal on ff.20-49, and the later set of ordinances on ff.74-77.’
  • 2A sheet of paper folded once to form two leaves (four pages) of a book.

    • ‘Most interesting of all are the two folios at the end that give us the layout for the ceremonies in the Abbey.’
    • ‘Once the pages were finished they were folded into the folios and placed up to eight pages in depth.’
    • ‘His own grammar fills 13 double-column folio pages in his two-volume dictionary.’
    • ‘The presence of empty, but ruled, folios at the end of the volume suggests that FVB was a work in progress.’
    piece of paper, leaf, page
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    1. 2.1 A size of book made up of folio sheets of paper.
      • ‘The paper size is imperial folio, that's almost as big as today's standard A2 page, which is equal to four standard A4 sheets.’
      • ‘These were engraved in two sizes: folio, and a smaller series as book illustrations.’
      • ‘Wadum suggests that some of the five books in folio and 25 other books might have been manuals such as those cited by Swillens.’
      • ‘And that's without me looking at the folio size books.’
    2. 2.2 A book or manuscript made up of folio sheets of paper; a volume of the largest standard size.
      • ‘Even their presentation, in imposing folio volumes, reflects the gravity of their intent.’
      • ‘Wesley dropped the big folio book he was carrying on to the table and went to me.’
      • ‘The desktop itself was lost beneath teetering stacks of leather-bound volumes and slim folios that formed a parapet around the edges of the desk.’
      • ‘With the turning pages of his folios and albums, the 98-year-old's life pours out in torrents, just like the many rivers he has captured on film.’
      • ‘Pages printed on one or both sides, gathered into quires or folios, superceded papyrus and parchment rolls in the fourth century CE.’
      • ‘Kalpesh Lathigra's photojournalistic folios are worth the visit.’
      • ‘The whole document fills two massive folios in the only printed edition of the Latin text that has ever been published, in 1783.’
      • ‘Only once before, in the 1616 Jonson folio, had an English dramatist's plays appeared in collected form.’
      • ‘Up to now it is more than a hundred folios of manuscript.’
      • ‘Shakespearian textual critics are primarily interested in the nature of the lost manuscripts that served as printers' copy for the early quartos and folios.’
      • ‘For these four folio volumes of patient industry, Gould received the princely sum of $50!’
      • ‘He'd known that - hence the plan to skip off to Bali once the folio was completed.’
      • ‘Johnson's magnum opus was published in two folio volumes in 1755.’
      • ‘In fact, each photo is so engaging that I wished at times that the book form was replaced by a folio.’
      • ‘I have completed it and it has filled around fifty folios.’
      • ‘So it was that on 15 April, 1755, the two huge folio volumes went on sale for four pounds and ten shillings a set.’
      • ‘She dedicated her lavish folio volume, in large print, to her brother-in-law, Sir Charles Cavendish, in gratitude.’
      • ‘One theological work consists of five folio volumes in Spanish.’
      • ‘The prints were published in the Cabinet du Roi, a series of folio volumes with illustrations of the artistic and scientific triumphs of the reign.’
      • ‘The entries of Shakespearian texts in the Stationers' Register chronicle the publishing fortunes of his poems, individual plays, and the four folios from the 1590s to the Restoration.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, ablative of folium ‘leaf’, in medieval Latin used in references to mean ‘on leaf so-and-so’. The original sense of in folio (from Italian in foglio) was ‘in the form of a full-sized sheet or leaf folded once’ (designating the largest size of book).