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1. To fold or crease something so that it becomes smaller. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "fold" and "up." I folded up the newspaper and put it back on the rack.
2. To be able to be folded or bent into a smaller size or position. This bag folds up for storage, you know.
3. To stop doing business. Aw man, I can't believe that restaurant folded up—I really liked it.
4. To faint or pass out. I made it through the whole marathon but folded up as soon as I crossed the finish line.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
fold something up
1. Lit. to double something over into its original folded position. Please fold the paper up when you are finished. Please fold up the paper.
2. Fig. to put an end to something; to close a money-losing enterprise. Mr. Jones was going broke, so he folded his business up. The producer decided to fold up the play early. It was losing money.
1. Lit. [for something] to close by folding. The table just folded up with no warning, trapping my leg.
2. Fig. [for someone] to faint. She folded up when she heard the news. I was so weak that I was afraid I was going to fold up.
3. Fig. [for a business] to cease operating. Our shop finally folded up because of the recession. Tom's little candy shop folded up.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Fail, especially go out of business. For example, Three stores on Main Street have folded up.
2. Collapse, break down. For example, When she told him about the dog's death, she folded up. This idiom alludes to closing or bringing an object into more compact form. [Early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To bend or fold something so that it is closed or made compact: My roommate folded the letter up. Fold up that box and put it away.
2. To be able to be bent or folded to become closed or made compact: This table folds up so you can put it in the trunk of a small car.
3. To go out of business: Three of my favorite stores on this street folded up last summer.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.