- The definition of an envelope is a container made of folded paper or cardboard.
An example of an envelope is what you would seal a letter in before mailing it to someone.
Bright colored envelopes.
envelope definition by Webster's New World
- a thing that envelops; wrapper; covering
- a folded paper container as for a letter, usually with a gummed flap for sealing
- the outer covering of a rigid airship
- the bag that contains the gas in a balloon or nonrigid airship
- the set of limitations, as for a particular aircraft, system, etc., within the boundaries of which it can operate safely and efficiently
- a set of limits or boundaries: usually in the informal phrase , to go beyond or attempt to go beyond established rules, limits, expectations, etc.
- Astron. a cloudy mass surrounding the nucleus of a comet; coma
- Biol. any enclosing membrane, skin, shell, etc.
- Math. a curve that is tangent to every one of a family of curves, or a surface that is tangent to every one of a family of surfaces
Origin: French and amp; Old French enveloppe ; from Old French envoluper: see envelop
envelope definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A flat paper container, especially for a letter, usually having a gummed flap.
- Something that envelops; a wrapping.
- Biology An enclosing structure or cover, such as a membrane or the outer coat of a virus.
- The bag containing the gas in a balloon or airship.
- The set of limitations within which a technological system, especially an aircraft, can perform safely and effectively.
- The coma of a comet.
- Mathematics A curve or surface that is tangent to every one of a family of curves or surfaces.
Origin: French enveloppe, from envelopper, to envelop, from Old French envoloper; see envelop.Usage Note: The word envelope was borrowed into English from French during the early 18th century, and the first syllable acquired the pronunciation (ŏn) as an approximation to the nasalized French pronunciation. Gradually the word has become anglicized further and is now most commonly pronounced (ĕnˈvə-lōpˌ). The earlier pronunciation is still considered acceptable, however. A recent survey reveals that the (ŏnˈ-) pronunciation for the word envelope is used by 30 percent of the Usage Panel and is recognized as an acceptable variant by about 20 percent of those Panelists who normally use the (ĕnˈ-) pronunciation. Other similar words borrowed from French in the modern period include envoy (17th century), encore, ennui, ensemble, entree (18th century), entourage, and entrepreneur (19th century). Most retain their pseudo-French pronunciations, with the exception of envoy, which, like envelope, is mainly pronounced with (ĕn) now.
envelope - Computer Definition
(1) A range of frequencies for a particular operation.
(2) A group of bits or items that is packaged and treated as a single unit.
(3) See also pushing the envelope.
envelope - Medical Definition
envelope - Phrases/Idioms
push the envelope
- To increase the operating capabilities of a technological system.
- To exceed the existing limits in a certain field; be innovative.