fold

Definitions

General English

Agriculture

  • noun a moveable enclosure, made of hurdles or of electric wire fencing, used to keep cattle or sheep in a certain place
  • verb to put sheep into a fold

Commerce

  • suffix
    (written as -fold)
    times
  • verb to stop trading

Information & Library Science

  • suffix
    (written as -fold)
    combining with numbers to indicate that something has that number of parts
  • suffix
    (written as -fold)
    indicating that something has been multiplied by that number

Medical

  • noun a part of the body which is bent so that it lies on top of another part

Publishing

  • verb to bend something, e.g. a piece of paper, so that one part covers another

Origin & History of “fold”

The verb fold comes ultimately from the Indo-European base *pel-, which also produced Latin plicāre ‘fold’ (source of or related to English accomplice, complicated, explicit, perplex, plait, pleat, pliant, pliers, plight, ply, reply, and supple) and the final element -ple or -ble in such words as simple, double, or triple (which are hence related to the parallel Germanic formations twofold, threefold, etc). Its Germanic descendant was *falthan, from which are descended German falten, Dutch vouwen, Danish folde, and English fold. The noun fold ‘enclosure for animals’ is of Germanic origin (Dutch has the related vaalt), but its distant antecedents are unknown.
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