Definition of enfold in English:


(also infold)


  • 1Surround; envelop.

    ‘he shut off the engine and silence enfolded them’
    • ‘Amid all the celebrations over their recovery, silence continued to enfold the conditions that had enabled the looting of the treasures in the first place.’
    • ‘At once the lights were extinguished and as the darkness enfolded the young women in its embrace, the door opened and closed with a resounding click that echoed throughout the room for several moments.’
    • ‘She feels my heart going out to her, my comfort and love enfolding and absorbing her pain.’
    • ‘Forty hectares of mature trees enfold the resort.’
    • ‘As the couple stands in the shadow-filled office, a blanket of silence enfolds them.’
    • ‘When I round the first corner, it's as if the city enfolds me.’
    • ‘When the sudden silence had enfolded the room in its velvet cloak, he had known that he was nothing, absolutely nothing compared to the wielder of such power.’
    • ‘Certainly large enough to gently enfold 88 men, women, and children.’
    • ‘I had run 12 sets of 150 stairs, most of them taken two at a time, and the stench of wet bodies and morning fog enfolded me like a curling swath of rancid morning breath.’
    • ‘The forest enfolds the river, crowding right down to the water's edge.’
    • ‘As the door shut behind him, a thick, insulating blackness enfolded me.’
    • ‘For three or four days now New York has been enfolded in the soft grey light of winter.’
    • ‘Deeper in the cave, the walls close in, darkness enfolds us, and we switch on our headlamps.’
    • ‘Behind him he saw the Rockies enfold the city, before him its waters ran out into the oceans of the world.’
    • ‘He adorned a long blue cloak to help protect him against the cold and fierce winds of winter and for some time now had been struggling along in the snow practically daydreaming of sitting by the warm fire place enfolded in a quilt.’
    • ‘You can resist the opera's vision of redemption but you cannot resist music which enfolds you so completely in a web of sensuous twisting harmonies.’
    • ‘Two rivers, not far apart, begin north of the Himalayas; together they enfold and drain both slopes of that great range.’
    envelop, engulf, sheathe, swathe, swaddle, cocoon, shroud, veil, cloak, drape, cover, conceal, mask
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    1. 1.1 Hold or clasp (someone) lovingly in one's arms.
      • ‘He enfolded me into a tight embrace and I cried into his shirt.’
      • ‘He enfolds me into his arms, and I place my hands on his firm forearms, feeling his muscles protecting me.’
      • ‘Several arms of gentle loving kindness enfolded him into an embrace of warmth and love.’
      • ‘He enfolded his daughter into his arms and she welcomed the embrace.’
      • ‘He enfolded him in an embrace; Phillipe pounded him on the back.’
      • ‘In her despair she cried out to him and opened her arms, begging him to enfold her in his embrace.’
      • ‘Without hesitation he reached out enfolding his friend in a warm embrace, speaking soothingly.’
      • ‘I enfold her in my embrace and gently smooth her dark locks.’
      • ‘I was enfolded in her warm embrace, a grin spread wide across my face.’
      • ‘He loves to enfold us in his embrace so that we feel safe to tell him everything that is in our hearts.’
      • ‘He enfolds her with his arms, so tight and warm she could nearly cry out in pleasure.’
      • ‘Dressed in an entrancing silver brocade gown, Lucy eagerly enfolded Rachel into an embrace.’
      • ‘She enfolded her daughter in her long white arms and squeezed her tightly for good measure, before releasing her.’
      • ‘He moved towards her and suddenly enfolded her in a huge embrace, the tight loving hug you reserve for the closest members of your family.’
      • ‘Despite her cryptic remark she enfolds me in a hug, holding me tight with strong thin arms.’
      • ‘When they first encountered each other, the 280-pound gorilla instantly enfolded Fred Rogers, all 143 pounds of him, in a massive embrace.’
      • ‘A long moment of silence followed and I buried my face against his neck, my arms slowly enfolding him in a needy embrace.’
      • ‘He was surprised when, pushing his hand aside, the old professor wrapped his arms around him and enfolded him in as fatherly and as awkward an embrace as any he had ever received.’
      • ‘I felt his hands slide around my waist before his arms enfolded me in his grasp.’
      • ‘They were lying on the bed now, and she was enfolded in Malcolm's warm embrace.’
      clasp, hold, fold, wrap, squeeze, clutch, take, gather
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  • 2Fold or shape into folds.


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘involve, entail, imply’; formerly also as infold): from en-, in- ‘within’+ fold.