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90s Slang You Should Know


[uhn-fohld] /ʌnˈfoʊld/
verb (used with object)
to bring out of a folded state; spread or open out:
Unfold your arms.
to spread out or lay open to view.
to reveal or display.
to reveal or disclose in words, especially by careful or systematic exposition; set forth; explain.
verb (used without object)
to become unfolded; open.
to develop.
to become clear, apparent, or known:
The protagonist's character unfolds as the story reaches its climax.
Origin of unfold
before 900; Middle English unfolden, Old English unfealdan; cognate with German entfalten. See un-2, fold1
Related forms
unfoldable, adjective
unfolder, noun
unfoldment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unfold
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then she saw him unfold the paper inside and become absorbed.

    None Other Gods Robert Hugh Benson
  • There he was, my cash-keeper; and I had not the least wish to unfold my plans to him.

    Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
  • They bear between them a painted screen, which they unfold and plant in the middle of the saloon.

  • These possibilities will unfold as the following pages on the details of the play are read.

    Pung Chow Lew Lysle Harr
  • She paused beside them and her petals trembled and began to unfold.

    Where the World is Quiet Henry Kuttner
British Dictionary definitions for unfold


to open or spread out or be opened or spread out from a folded state
to reveal or be revealed: the truth unfolds
to develop or expand or be developed or expanded
Derived Forms
unfolder, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unfold

Old English unfealdan, "to open or unwrap the folds of," also figuratively, "to disclose, reveal," from un- (2) "opposite of" + fold (v.). Cf. Middle Dutch ontvouden, German entfalten. Intransitive sense is attested from late 14c. Related: Unfolded; unfolding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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