fold (in a sense of failure)

Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

Today when I was browsing a page online, I found a sentence like this:

Under pressure some people focus, other fold.

I don't quite understand about the word fold working in this sense, then I looked it up in some dictionaries, here I would like to give two quotes:

(of a business) to close because of failure(Cambridge.Dictionary)

informal (of a company) cease trading as a result of financial problems.
■ (of a sports player or team) suddenly stop performing well.
(Ours)

My question is:

"Fold" can only be used in a sense to mean the failure of a business or company or whatever rather than in the sense of my sentence?

I got this sentence from a Chinese website, I am just curious about the usage of this word, may I have your opinion?


Thanks a lot

Yours
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    This is figurative language that refers, as you have noted, to giving up or failing. The physical image is that of being strong and firm, like a tree, or being soft and yielding, like a piece of paper. Those who "fold" under pressure are those who are like paper.

    In answer to your question, you can use it to refer to people, companies, or any other group of people. One side in a war could "fold" and surrender to their enemies. A company can "fold" if it can't deal with the competition. A person can "fold" if he or she collapses or runs away when facing some stressful situation.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I see Owlman has explained. I agree. It's somewhat common to use "fold" with people. In your original sentence, though, it should be "others", Silverobama.
     

    Silver

    Senior Member
    Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
    Well, I got it. Thank you two very much. Sometimes I am just curious about the dictionaries' label. I think if I see the dictionary says that it could only or it could mainly be used in this situation, I won't consider it in another way.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "Fold" also has a gambling connotation. In the game of poker, when a player judges that his hand is unlikely to win, he* folds: puts his cards on the table, face down, and bets no more. He loses the money he has bet on that deal up to that point, but no more than that.

    Poker is old enough that this could be the source of the other meanings. I don't know if it is or how old the others are, though.

    _________________________
    *Or she, but most U.S. poker players are male.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I agree with Egmont, that that could be the origin. Hard to prove.

    (Egmont, Annie Duke will beg to differ with you about the poker. :))
     
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