Enfold vs infold

Enfold and infold are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. Homophones are a group of words with different spellings, the same pronunciations, and different meanings. Homophones exist because of our ever-changing English language and are a challenge for those who wish to learn to speak English. It can be difficult to learn how to spell different words that sound the same, and homophones are commonly misused words. Said aloud, the difference is less important, because the words are pronounced the same. The way the spelling and definitions differ can be confusing even to native English speakers when attempting to learn vocabulary correctly. Proper pronunciation of spoken English may help the listener distinguish between homophones and understand the correct spelling; the words affect-effect are a good example, but the word pairs to, too and two, bridle and bridal, creek and creak, hoard and horde, toed and towed, or horse and hoarse, are indistinguishable from each other and are easily confused and are commonly misused. Pronunciation is usually more ambiguous, as English pronunciation may vary according to dialect, and English spelling is constantly evolving. Pronunciation may change even though the spelling doesn’t, producing two words that are pronounced in the same manner but have different meanings such as night and knight. Phonological spelling and spelling rules do not always work, and most people avoid misspelling by studying vocabulary words from spelling lists, enhancing their literacy skills through spelling practice, and learning words in English by studying a dictionary of the English language. English words are also spelled according to their etymologies rather than their sound. For instance, the word threw is derived from the Old English word thrawan, and the word through came from the Old English word thurh. Homophones are confusing words and are commonly misspelled words because of the confusion that arises from words that are pronounced alike but have very different usage and etymology. A spell checker will rarely find this type of mistake in English vocabulary, so do not rely on spell check but instead, learn to spell. Even a participant in a spelling bee like the National Spelling Bee will ask for an example of a homophone in a sentence, so that she understands which word she is to spell by using context clues. Homophones are often used in wordplay like puns. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words enfold and infold, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Enfold means to surround or envelop something; to wrap something up or enclose something. For instance, if someone wraps his arms around you, he may be said to enfold you in his arms. Enfold is a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are enfolds, enfolded, enfolding. The word enfold is derived from the prefix, en-, which means within, and the Old English word, faldan, which means to wrap up.

Infold means to fold inward. Infold is also a transitive verb; related words are infolds, infolded, infolding. Infold is also increasingly used as a noun. The word infold is derived from the prefix, in-, which means into, and the word fold.


“Given how similar our cultures are and our outreach efforts, it made sense to just enfold them into MissionSAFE,” she said. (CommonWealth Magazine)

They came together to enfold Grace’s family with support. (South Bend Tribune)

“We really wanted to create the best user experience, which is the infold.” (Gizmodo Australia)

The pub’s name, JD’s, is an abbreviated tip of the cap to the legend, as is a detailed history of the Jersey Devil on its menu’s infold. (Atlantic City Weekly)

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