push the envelope

push the envelope
Envelope En"vel*ope (?; 277), Envelop En*vel"op (?; 277), n. [F. enveloppe.] 1. That which envelops, wraps up, encases, or surrounds; a wrapper; an inclosing cover; esp., the cover or wrapper of a document, as of a letter. [1913 Webster]

2. (Astron.) The nebulous covering of the head or nucleus of a comet; -- called also {coma}. [1913 Webster]

3. (Fort.) A work of earth, in the form of a single parapet or of a small rampart. It is sometimes raised in the ditch and sometimes beyond it. --Wilhelm. [1913 Webster]

4. (Geom.) A curve or surface which is tangent to each member of a system of curves or surfaces, the form and position of the members of the system being allowed to vary according to some continuous law. Thus, any curve is the envelope of its tangents.

4. A set of limits for the performance capabilities of some type of machine, originally used to refer to aircraft; -- it is often described graphically as a two-dimensional graph of a function showing the maximum of one performance variable as a function of another. Now it is also used metaphorically to refer to capabilities of any system in general, including human organizations, esp. in the phrase push the envelope. It is used to refer to the maximum performance available at the current state of the technology, and therefore refers to a class of machines in general, not a specific machine. [PJC]

{push the envelope} to increase the capability of some type of machine or system; -- usually by technological development. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • push the envelope — ► to go further than the usual limits by doing something new, dangerous, etc.: »We re really pushing the envelope on this technology; a lot of other companies are just playing catch up. Main Entry: ↑envelope …   Financial and business terms

  • push the envelope — verb to go beyond established limits; to pioneer. They pushed the envelope on pricing derivatives …   Wiktionary

  • envelope — en‧ve‧lope [ˈenvələʊp ǁ loʊp] noun [countable] a thin paper cover in which you put a letter ˌpadded ˈenvelope an envelope filled with soft material that is used for sending things which can easily be damaged ˌself adˌdressed ˈenvelope written… …   Financial and business terms

  • Envelope — En vel*ope (?; 277), Envelop En*vel op (?; 277), n. [F. enveloppe.] 1. That which envelops, wraps up, encases, or surrounds; a wrapper; an inclosing cover; esp., the cover or wrapper of a document, as of a letter. [1913 Webster] 2. (Astron.) The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The Simpsons opening sequence — The Simpsons title screen as of 2009. The Simpsons opening sequence is an element that begins almost every episode of the American animated television series The Simpsons. Starting with the season 20 episode Take My Life, Please , the opening… …   Wikipedia

  • The Crane Wife — Studio album by The Decemberists Released October 3, 2006 …   Wikipedia

  • The Blueprint 3 — Studio album by Jay Z Released September 8, 2009 …   Wikipedia

  • envelope — /en veuh lohp , ahn /, n. 1. a flat paper container, as for a letter or thin package, usually having a gummed flap or other means of closure. 2. something that envelops; a wrapper, integument, or surrounding cover. 3. Biol. a surrounding or… …   Universalium

  • envelope — noun Date: circa 1714 1. a flat usually paper container (as for a letter) 2. something that envelops ; wrapper < the envelope of air around the earth > 3. a. the outer covering of an aerostat b. the bag containing the gas in a balloon or airship… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • The Amazing Race — sometimes referred to as TAR, is a reality television game show in which teams of two people (with one exception), who have some form of a preexisting personal relationship, race around the world in competition with other teams. Contestants stri …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”