unfold

unfold
unfold 1 Unfold, evolve, develop, elaborate, perfect can all mean to cause something to emerge from a state where its potentialities are not apparent or not realized into a state where they are apparent or fully realized.
Unfold suggests usually a natural process by which is unveiled or disclosed the true character, the real beauty or ugliness, or the significance or insignificance of someone or something
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the bud unfolds itself into the flower

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I see thy beauty gradually unfold, daily and hourly, more and more— Tennyson

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they were theater people, and the unfolding of a new creative work was a solemnity— Wouk

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Evolve implies an unfolding or unrolling itself gradually and in orderly process; the term is particularly applicable when the slowness of the process and the complications involved in it are to be suggested
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the Protozoa . . . evolved the types that were transitional to higher animals— Miner

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societies jre evolved in structure and function as in growth— Spencer

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life has evolved according to a Creator's plan— Marquand

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However evolve is often used with weakened emphasis on the implications of slowness and complexity to imply specifically the production of a result (as an idea, a theory, or an aesthetic effect) from within or as if from within
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twilight combined with the scenery of Egdon Heath to evolve a thing majestic without severity, impressive without showiness— Hardy

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this novel and intensely exacting technique, evolved ... by the critical genius of a few . . . Frenchmen and of Henry James— Montague

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Develop (see also MATURE) implies a passing through several stages and stresses the coming out or unfolding of latent possibilities in a thing, whether by a natural process or through human means (compare DEVELOPMENT)
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there were different ideas of how the paper should develop. They wanted it to be successful; I wanted it to be outrageous— Mailer

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shorter than His wife—a jolly pink-faced man with a quietness that might have been developed to complement the noise she made— Cheever

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most of the great European thinkers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries . . . helped to develop the conception Shaftesbury first formulated— Ellis

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Elaborate distinctively stresses attention to detail and increasing complication by means of which the latent possibilities of a thing are more fully or completely developed
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the sun, under whose influence one plant elaborates nutriment for man and another poison— Southey

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the constitutional system which was in course of being gradually elaboratedGladstone

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the Negro discovered and elaborated a morality ... an ethical differentiation between the good and the bad in every human activity— Mailer

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Perfect stresses a freeing from faults, defects, or blemishes, and it can additionally imply an unfolding or development of something so that it stands as a complete or finished product
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she had cultivated and perfected a vast cowlike calm which served her now in good stead— Pynchon

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he first conceives, then perfects his design, as a mere instrument in hands divine— Cowper

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a new determination to complete and perfect his plant-setting machine had taken possession of him— Anderson

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Analogous words: *show, manifest, evidence, evince, demonstrate: exhibit, display, expose (see SHOW)
2 *solve, resolve, unravel, decipher

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • Unfold — Un*fold , v. t. [AS. unfealdan. See 1st {Un }, and {Fold}, v. t.] 1. To open the folds of; to expand; to spread out; as, to unfold a tablecloth. [1913 Webster] Unfold thy forehead gathered into frowns. Herbert. [1913 Webster] 2. To open, as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Unfold — may refer to:* Unfoldable cardinal, in math * Unfold (higher order function), in computer science a family of anamorphism functions * Unfoldment, in spirituality and physics * Unfolded protein response, in biochemistry * Equilibrium unfolding, in …   Wikipedia

  • Unfold — au Rock Altitude Festival en 2011. Pays d’origine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • unfold — [v1] spread out disentangle, display, expand, extend, fan, fan out, flatten, loosen, open, outspread, outstretch, reel out, release, shake out, spread, straighten, stretch out, unbend, uncoil, uncrease, uncurl, undo, unfurl, unravel, unroll,… …   New thesaurus

  • Unfold — Un*fold , v. i. To open; to expand; to become disclosed or developed. [1913 Webster] The wind blows cold While the morning doth unfold. J. Fletcher. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • unfold — [unfōld′] vt. [ME unfolden < OE unfealdan < un , UN + fealdan, to FOLD1] 1. to open and spread out (something folded) 2. to make known or lay open to view, esp. in stages or little by little; reveal, disclose, display, or explain vi. 1. to… …   English World dictionary

  • unfold — index bare, betray (disclose), clarify, construe (translate), crystallize, denude, deploy …   Law dictionary

  • unfold — (v.) O.E. unfealdan, to open or unwrap the folds of, also figuratively, to disclose, reveal, from UN (Cf. un ) (2) opposite of + FOLD (Cf. fold) (v.). Cf. M.Du. ontvouden, Ger. entfalten. Intransitive sense is attested from late 14c. Related:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • unfold — ► VERB 1) open or spread out from a folded position. 2) reveal or be revealed …   English terms dictionary

  • unfold — UK [ʌnˈfəʊld] / US [ʌnˈfoʊld] verb Word forms unfold : present tense I/you/we/they unfold he/she/it unfolds present participle unfolding past tense unfolded past participle unfolded 1) a) [transitive] to open something that was folded Lewis… …   English dictionary

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