[en-vuh-lohp, ahn-]


Nearby words

  1. enure,
  2. enuresis,
  3. enuretic,
  4. env.,
  5. envelop,
  6. envelope chemise,
  7. envelopment,
  8. envenom,
  9. envenomation,
  10. enver pasha


    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

British Dictionary definitions for envelope



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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for envelope


[ĕnvə-lōp′, ŏn-]


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.