Meaning of “fold” in the English Dictionary

"fold" in British English

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uk /fəʊld/ us /foʊld/

fold verb (BEND)

B1 [ I or T ] to bend something, especially paper or cloth, so that one part of it lies on the other part, or to be able to be bent in this way:

I folded the letter (in half) and put it in an envelope.
He had a neatly folded handkerchief in his jacket pocket.
Will you help me to fold (up) the sheets?
The table folds up when not in use.

[ T ] literary to wrap:

She folded her baby in a blanket.
He folded his arms around her.
fold your arms

to bring your arms close to your chest and hold them together

[ T ] to move a part of your body into a position where it is close to your body:

She sat with her legs folded under her.

More examples

foldnoun [ C ]

uk /fəʊld/ us /foʊld/

fold noun [ C ] (SHELTER)

a small area of a field surrounded by a fence where sheep can be put for shelter for the night

the fold

your home or an organization where you feel you belong:

Her children are all away at college now, but they always return to the fold during the holidays.


uk / -fəʊld/ us / -foʊld/

(Definition of “fold” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"fold" in American English

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us /foʊld/

fold verb (BEND)

[ I/T ] to bend something such as paper or cloth so that one part of it lies on the other part, or to be able bend in this way:

[ T ] He took his clothes out of the dryer and carefully folded them.
[ M ] She folded up the map and put it back in her bag.
[ I ] The tray table folds up so that it fits in a closet.

[ I/T ] If you fold your hands or arms, you bring them together and cross them:

[ T ] He folded his arms across his chest.

fold verb (FAIL)

[ I ] (of a business) to close because of failure:

Many small businesses fold within the first year.

Phrasal verb(s)


us /foʊld/

fold noun (BEND)

[ C ] a line or mark where paper, cloth, etc. was or is folded:

If you just make folds along the dotted lines, you can seal it and mail it as an envelope.

fold noun (SHARED BELIEFS)

[ C/U ] the safety or comfort of belonging to a group that shares the same beliefs:

[ U ] The Democrats attracted many immigrants to the fold.

[ C/U ] A fold is a fenced area on a farm where sheep are kept during the night.


us /ˌfoʊld/

-fold suffix (NUMBER)

having the stated number of parts, or multiplied by the stated number:

There has been more than a 30-fold increase in Internet users in the past two years.

(Definition of “fold” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"fold" in Business English

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foldverb [ I ]

uk /fəʊld/ us

if a business folds, it closes because of failure:

The company folded after four years, having made heavy losses.

Phrasal verb(s)

having the stated number of parts, or multiplied by the stated number:

The problems are twofold - firstly, economic, and secondly, political.
In the last 50 years, there has been a 33-fold increase in the amount of pesticide used in farming.

(Definition of “fold” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)