[ verb en-vel-uhp; noun en-vel-uhp, en-vuh-luhp, ahn- ]
/ verb ɛnˈvɛl əp; noun ɛnˈvɛl əp, ˈɛn və ləp, ˈɑn- /

verb (used with object), en·vel·oped, en·vel·op·ing.

to wrap up in or as in a covering: The long cloak she was wearing enveloped her completely.
to serve as a wrapping or covering for, as a membrane of an organ or a sheath.
to surround entirely.
Military. to attack (an enemy's flank).


Origin of envelop

1350–1400; Middle English envolupen < Old French envoluper, equivalent to en- en-1 + voloper to envelop, of obscure origin; compare Old Provençal (en)volopar, Italian inviluppare to envelop, Italian viluppo tuft, bundle, confusion, referred to Medieval Latin faluppa chaff, wisp of straw, perhaps influenced by the descendants of Latin volvere to roll

Related forms

en·vel·op·er, nounpre·en·vel·op, verb (used with object)un·en·vel·oped, adjective

Can be confused

envelop envelope
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for enveloping

British Dictionary definitions for enveloping


/ (ɪnˈvɛləp) /

verb -lops, -loping or -loped (tr)

to wrap or enclose in or as if in a covering
to conceal or obscure, as from sight or understandinga plan enveloped in mystery
to surround or partially surround (an enemy force)

Derived Forms

envelopment, noun

Word Origin for envelop

C14: from Old French envoluper, from en- 1 + voluper, voloper, of obscure origin
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