Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definition

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb British English pronunciation: fold /fəʊld/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participlefolding
past tensefolded
past participlefolded
  1. 1
    [transitive] to bend a piece of paper or cloth and press one part of it over another part

    Carrie folded the letter and slid it into a drawer.

    fold something in half/two:

    Fold the paper in half diagonally.

    fold something neatly/carefully:

    She folded the towel neatly and hung it over the rail.

    fold something over/back/down:

    Fold the left flap over and hold it down.

    1. a.
      to cover something by bending a piece of paper or cloth around it
      fold something in something:

      She picked up the insect and gently folded it in a handkerchief.

      fold something around something:

      He folded the newspaper carefully around the plants.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] if something folds, or if you can fold it, you can bend part of it so that it becomes smaller and easier to carry or store

    Jim folded the penknife and slipped it into his pocket.

    fold (something) up/down/away:

    The bed folds away conveniently for storage.

    fold (something) flat:

    The table folds flat for easy storage.

  3. 4
    [intransitive] if your legs fold, they suddenly become weak and unable to support your weight, so that you fall to the ground

    Sue felt her legs folding under her, then she fainted.


phrasal verbs

food rave

a very large party where people eat, sell or share many different types of food, usually held outside or in a large public building

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


old and in bad condition, or no longer effective

Open Dictionary

dead white (European) male

a man … whose achievements may have been overestimated because he belonged to the gender and ethnic group … that was dominant at the time

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog