- A fenced enclosure for livestock, especially sheep.
- A flock of sheep.
a. A group of people or institutions bound together by common beliefs and aims.
b. A religious congregation: The priest welcomed new parishioners into the fold.
transitive verbfold·ed, fold·ing, folds
To place or keep (sheep, for example) in a fenced enclosure.
Origin of fold
Middle English from
Old English fald
(third-person singular simple present folds, present participle folding, simple past folded or feld (obsolete), past participle folded or rarely folden)
- To bend (any thin material, such as paper) over so that it comes in contact with itself.
- To make the proper arrangement (in a thin material) by bending.
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”).
- (dialectal, poetic or obsolete) The Earth; earth; land, country.
From Middle English, from Old English folde (“earth, land, country, district, region, territory, ground, soil, clay”), from Proto-Germanic *fuldǭ (“ground, plain”), from Proto-Indo-European *pel- (“field, plain”). Cognate with Norwegian and Icelandic fold (“land, earth, meadow”).
- Used to make adjectives meaning times.
- There has been a threefold increase in inflation (= inflation is three times what it was before)
- Used to make adverbs meaning times.
- Inflation has increased threefold (= inflation is three times what it was before)
Note: -fold can be combined with the word for any positive integer. The words listed below are some of the most common combinations. These words are not hyphenated.
- Some writers and speakers use misconstructions like "an increase by twofold," which they believe to mean the same thing as "a twofold increase." But these two things logically mean "an increase by 200% of the original amount" and "an increase to 200% of the original amount," respectively. This practice is not only ambiguous but grammatically poor; it misuses -fold by using it as a noun. -Fold takes no preposition.
- In scientific contexts, "-fold" is sometimes appended to numerals (with the same sense), as in a 2010 paper by M.C. Stone et al., which mentions "10-fold up-regulation of the number of growing microtubules" in its abstract.
From Middle English, from Old English -feald (“-fold"), from Proto-Germanic *-falÃ¾az (“-fold"), from Proto-Indo-European *-poltos (“-fold"). Cognate with Dutch -voud, German -falt, Swedish -faldig (“-fold"), Latin -plus, -plex, Ancient Greek -Ï€Î±Î»Ï„Î¿Ï‚ (-paltos), -Ï€Î»Î¿Ï‚ (-paltos, -plos). More at fold.