push the envelope
Exceed the limits of what is normally done, be innovative, as in They are pushing the envelope in using only new fabrics for winter clothing. This idiom comes from aviation, the envelope alluding to the technical limits of a plane's performance, which, on a graph, appear as a rising slope as limits of speed and stress are approached and falls off when the capacity is exceeded and the pilot loses control; safety lies within these limits, or envelope, and exceeding them exposes pilot and plane to risk. [Slang; late 1960s]
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Example sentences from the Web for push the envelope
France 24 is providing live, round-the-clock coverage of both scenes as they progress.
Sands was involved in a scandalous-for-the-time romance with the carpenter and there were rumors she was pregnant with his child.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion|Nina Strochlic|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Instead, straighten your civic backbone and push back in clear conscience.Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo—And You Should Too|John Avlon|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Three on-the-record stories from a family: a mother and her daughters who came from Phoenix.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
In Afghanistan, there was a push to take back the southern province Helmand.Pentagon Doesn’t Know How Many People It’s Killed in the ISIS War|Nancy A. Youssef|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Sleek finds it far harder work than fortune-making; but he pursues his Will-o'-the-Wisp with untiring energy.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
The sense of bearing on to the voice, or endeavoring to push the tone by any pressure whatever, should be absolutely avoided.Expressive Voice Culture|Jessie Eldridge Southwick
Thereupon the governor attacked him alone, and giving a violent push on the door, opened it.
One Turkish Company, about a hundred strong, was making an ugly push within rifle shot of our ship.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
A resolute push for quite a short period now might reconstruct the entire basis of our collective human life.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells