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fold one's tent



fold one's tent (third-person singular simple present folds one's tent, present participle folding one's tent, simple past and past participle folded one's tent)

  1. (idiomatic) To withdraw, especially in a discreet manner; to disengage; to quit.
    • 1844, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "The Day is Done" (proem to The Waif), lines 41-44,
      And the night shall be filled with music,
      And the cares that infest the day
      Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
      And as silently steal away.
    • 1982, "No Mercy for the Sisters," Time, 27 Sep.,
      "I won't quietly fold my tent and go away," snapped Sister Catherine.
    • 2005, Terry Neal, "Talking Points Live," Washington Post, 6 Jan. (retrieved 10 Aug 2008),
      There are a good number of Democrats who are unhappy with John Kerry, thinking he folded his tent without a fight.