[ 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)

Nearby words

  1. unflattering,
  2. unfledged,
  3. unfleshly,
  4. unflinching,
  5. unfocused,
  6. unfollow,
  7. unforced,
  8. unforeseeable,
  9. unforeseen,
  10. unforgettable

Origin of unfold

before 900; Middle English unfolden, Old English unfealdan; cognate with German entfalten. See un-2, fold1

Related formsun·fold·a·ble, adjectiveun·fold·er, nounun·fold·ment, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unfold

British Dictionary definitions for unfold


/ (ʌnˈfəʊld) /


to open or spread out or be opened or spread out from a folded state
to reveal or be revealedthe truth unfolds
to develop or expand or be developed or expanded
Derived Formsunfolder, 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

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