v. un·fold·ed, un·fold·ing, un·folds
1. To open and spread out (something folded); extend.
2. To remove the coverings from; disclose to view: unfold a package.
3. To reveal gradually by written or spoken explanation; make known: "He unfolded his tale of woe: the descriptions of poverty and the great distance they had traveled, the abuses they had suffered, the injustice of it all" (Robert Rosenberg).
a. To become spread out; open out: Spring flowers unfolded everywhere.
b. To develop or occur as a series of events or stages: "The trial unfolded in an imposing, high-ceilinged courtroom in Westminster Hall" (Adam Hochschild).
2. To be revealed gradually to the understanding: A solution to the problem unfolded as they spoke.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.