[ verb en-vel-uhp; noun en-vel-uhp, en-vuh-luhp, ahn- ]
See synonyms for: envelopenvelopedenveloping on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),en·vel·oped, en·vel·op·ing.
  1. to wrap up in or as in a covering: The long cloak she was wearing enveloped her completely.

  2. to serve as a wrapping or covering for, as a membrane of an organ or a sheath.

  1. to surround entirely.

  2. 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

Other words for envelop

Other words from envelop

  • en·vel·op·er, noun
  • pre·en·vel·op, verb (used with object)
  • un·en·vel·oped, adjective

Words that may be confused with envelop

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use envelop in a sentence

  • The Maker of Sounds was garbed in an all-enveloping white burnous and a white skull cap.

  • These clothes passed partly through the gap, the sail-cloth outside enveloping them.

    Toilers of the Sea | Victor Hugo
  • The red flames rise and lick up the sides, while the enveloping smoke wreathes around the corpse.

  • Then, suddenly, the thick, all-enveloping mists that held them were gone.

    Islands of Space | John W Campbell

British Dictionary definitions for envelop


/ (ɪnˈvɛləp) /

verb-lops, -loping or -loped (tr)
  1. to wrap or enclose in or as if in a covering

  2. to conceal or obscure, as from sight or understanding: a plan enveloped in mystery

  1. to surround or partially surround (an enemy force)

Origin of envelop

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

Derived forms of envelop

  • envelopment, noun

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