envelope

[en-vuh-lohp, ahn-]

noun


Idioms

    push the envelope, to stretch established limits, as in technological advance or social innovation.
Also envelop.

Origin of envelope

1700–10; < French enveloppe, derivative of envelopper to envelop
Can be confusedenvelop envelope
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for envelope

Contemporary Examples of envelope

Historical Examples of envelope

  • He took the card from the florist's envelope and glanced at the name.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • When she had gone he picked up an envelope and put a bill inside.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "Because I want to do it myself," she said at last, and thrust the envelope into the flame.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • She drew it in pencil on an envelope on her way back in the street car.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Before I open this envelope I am going to tell you what I believe it contains.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter


British Dictionary definitions for envelope

envelope

noun

a flat covering of paper, usually rectangular in shape and with a flap that can be folded over and sealed, used to enclose a letter, etc
any covering or wrapper
biology any enclosing structure, such as a membrane, shell, or skin
the bag enclosing the gas in a balloon
maths a curve or surface that is tangent to each one of a group of curves or surfaces
electronics the sealed glass or metal housing of a valve, electric light, etc
telecomm the outer shape of a modulated wave, formed by the peaks of successive cycles of the carrier wave
push the envelope informal to push the boundaries of what is possible

Word Origin for envelope

C18: from French enveloppe, from envelopper to wrap around; see envelop; sense 8 from aeronautics jargon, referring to graphs of aircraft performance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for envelope
n.

1705, from French enveloppe (13c.), a back-formation from envelopper "to envelop" (see envelop).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

envelope in Medicine

envelope

[ĕnvə-lōp′, ŏn-]

n.

An enclosing structure or cover, such as a membrane or the outer coat of a virus.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.