from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A fenced enclosure for livestock, especially sheep.
  • noun A flock of sheep.
  • noun A group of people or institutions bound together by common beliefs and aims.
  • noun A religious congregation.
  • transitive verb To place or keep (sheep, for example) in a fenced enclosure.
  • intransitive verb To bend over or double up so that one part lies on another part.
  • intransitive verb To make compact by doubling or bending over parts.
  • intransitive verb To bring from an extended to a closed position.
  • intransitive verb To bring from a compact to an extended position; unfold.
  • intransitive verb To place together and intertwine.
  • intransitive verb To envelop or clasp; enfold.
  • intransitive verb To blend (a light ingredient) into a heavier mixture with a series of gentle turns.
  • intransitive verb Informal To discontinue operating; close.
  • intransitive verb Games To withdraw (one's hand) in defeat, as by laying cards face down on a table.
  • intransitive verb Geology To form bends in (a stratum of rock).
  • intransitive verb To become folded.
  • intransitive verb To be capable of being folded.
  • intransitive verb Informal To close, especially for lack of financial success; fail.
  • intransitive verb Games To withdraw from a game in defeat.
  • intransitive verb To give in; buckle.
  • intransitive verb To weaken or collapse from exertion.
  • noun The act or an instance of folding.
  • noun A part that has been folded over or against another.
  • noun A line or mark made by folding; a crease.
  • noun A coil or bend, as of rope.
  • noun Chiefly British A hill or dale in undulating country.
  • noun Geology A bend in a stratum of rock.
  • noun Anatomy A crease or ridge apparently formed by folding, as of a membrane; a plica.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In geology, a bend in strata varying from a monoclinal or a simple change in the inclination of the beds with a dip still in the same direction as before, through anticlinals and synclinals, which have respectively opposing and converging dips on each side of a central axis, to overturned, collapsed, and fan-shaped folds, with very irregular dips. Folds are believed to be due to the compressive strains in the earth's crust. Compare monoclinal, anticlinal, synclinal, isocline,dome, basin, 9, etc.
  • noun In the Brachiopoda, a term applied with distinctive value to the median elevation of the shell, which is more or less pronounced in all except atrematous genera.
  • To confine, as sheep, in a fold.
  • To confine sheep in a fold.
  • noun A multiplicative suffix, attached to numerals, as in twofold, threefold, fourfold, etc., in algebra n-fold, etc., signifying ‘two, three, four, etc., n, etc., times as much’; so in many-fold, of which the older form, with modified meaning, remains in manifold.
  • noun The earth; earth.
  • noun A double or bend in a more or less flexible substance, as cloth; a flexure, especially one so extensive as to bring the parts on either side of the line of bending near together.
  • noun The parts which are brought together by bending or folding, or one of them; specifically, a plait in a garment or in drapery: as, a broad fold of cloth.
  • noun In entomology, a plica or ridge, generally inclined to one side, appearing as if the surface had been folded.
  • noun plural Involved parts of a complex whole; windings: a complex arrangement or constitution; intricacy.
  • noun A clasp; an embrace.
  • noun A sheaf or bundle, as of straw.
  • noun See the adjectives.
  • To double over upon itself; lay or bring one part of over or toward another by bending; bend over: used of things thin and flexible, or relatively so, as a piece of cloth, a sheet of paper, a stratum of rock, etc.: often with up.
  • To bring together or place over each other, as two correlated parts: as, to fold together the ends of a piece of cloth; to fold one's arms or one's hands.
  • To inclose in a fold or in folds; wrap up; cover up or hide away.
  • To inclose in or as in the arms; embrace.
  • To throw down; overthrow; cause to yield.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English fald.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English folden, from Old English fealdan, faldan; see pel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English folde ("earth, land, country, district, region, territory, ground, soil, clay"), from Proto-Germanic *fuldōn (“ground, plain”), from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (“field, plain”). Cognate with Norwegian and Icelandic fold ("land, earth, meadow").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English folden, from Old English fealdan, from Proto-Germanic *falþanan (“to fold”), from Proto-Indo-European *palo-, *plō- (“to fold”), compare Albanian palë. Akin to Dutch vouwen, German falten, Gothic 𐍆𐌰𐌻𐌸𐌰𐌽 (falþan), Old Norse falda (Danish folde).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fold, fald, from Old English fald, falæd, falod ("fold, stall, stable, cattle-pen"), from Proto-Germanic *faludaz (“enclosure”). Akin to Scots fald, fauld ("an enclosure for livestock"), Dutch vaalt ("dung heap"), Middle Low German valt, vālt ("an inclosed space, a yard"), Danish fold ("pen for herbivorous livestock"), Swedish fålla ("corral, pen, pound").


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