Please clarify the meaning of "Fold" in the paragraph below.

An industrial park in Appalachia may seem an odd place to grow a few million natives of the Nile. But industrial-scale fish farms are popping up everywhere these days. Aquaculture has expanded about 14-fold since 1980. In 2012 its global output, from silvery salmon to homely sea cucumbers only a Chinese cook could love, reached more than 70 million tons—exceeding beef production clearly for the first time and amounting to nearly half of all fish and shellfish consumed on Earth. Population growth, income growth, and seafood’s heart-healthy reputation are expected to drive up demand by 35 percent or more in just the next 20 years. With the global catch of wild fish stagnant, experts say virtually all of that new seafood will have to be farmed.

1 Answer 1


This is the suffix form of "-fold". Saying "expanded about 14-fold since 1980" is the same as saying "expanded to a size 14 times bigger than it was in 1980". It's basically calling for a multiplication.

  • Thank you for the quick and straightforward answer. I checked five different dictionaries but failed to find(or understand) it.
    – user3214
    May 19, 2014 at 19:29
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    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/-fold. Google fold suffix.
    – user3169
    May 19, 2014 at 19:40
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    @user3169 Thanks :) I was wrongly searching for "fold" before. I didn't know about suffix.
    – user3214
    May 19, 2014 at 19:43
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    It's probably worth flagging up that the most common usage of the suffix is manifold (many times), and that in the vast majority of other usages, the number is written out in full (threefold, tenfold, etc.). The hyphen isn't usually included unless there are digits involved (where it's pretty much unavoidable in the interests of clarity). May 19, 2014 at 21:49

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