verb (used with object)

  1. to bring out of a folded state; spread or open out: Unfold your arms.
  2. to spread out or lay open to view.
  3. to reveal or display.
  4. to reveal or disclose in words, especially by careful or systematic exposition; set forth; explain.

verb (used without object)

  1. to become unfolded; open.
  2. to develop.
  3. to become clear, apparent, or known: The protagonist’s character unfolds as the story reaches its climax.


  1. to open or spread out or be opened or spread out from a folded state
  2. to reveal or be revealedthe truth unfolds
  3. to develop or expand or be developed or expanded

v.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.

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