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.

Synonyms:
, , , / (to cover a weak part) /


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — ► NOUN 1) a flat paper container with a sealable flap, used to enclose a letter or document. 2) a covering or containing structure or layer. 3) the outer housing of a vacuum tube, electric light, etc. 4) the structure within a balloon or non… …   English terms dictionary

  • envelope — [än′və lōp΄, en′′və lōp΄] n. [Fr & OFr enveloppe < OFr envoluper: see ENVELOP] 1. a thing that envelops; wrapper; covering 2. a folded paper container as for a letter, usually with a gummed flap for sealing 3. a) the outer covering of a rigid… …   English World dictionary

  • Envelope —   [engl.], Hüllkurve …   Universal-Lexikon

  • envelope — 1705, from Fr. enveloppe (13c.), a back formation from envelopper to envelop (see ENVELOP (Cf. envelop)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • envelope — s. m. Envoltório para cartas ou outros documentos ou papéis. = SOBRECARTA, SOBRESCRITO   ‣ Etimologia: francês enveloppe …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • envelope — [n] wrapper bag, box, case, casing, cloak, coat, coating, container, cover, covering, enclosure, hide, jacket, pocket, pouch, receptacle, sheath, shell, skin, vesicle, wrapping; concept 494 …   New thesaurus

  • Envelope — This article is about envelopes in packaging. For other uses, see Envelope (disambiguation). Front of an envelope mailed in the U.S. in 1906, with a postage stamp and address …   Wikipedia

  • envelope — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ bulky, fat, thick ▪ large, small ▪ sealed ▪ return (AmE), self addressed …   Collocations dictionary

  • envelope — n. 1) to address; seal an envelope 2) a pay envelope (AE; BE has pay packet) 3) a self addressed; stamped; window envelope USAGE NOTE: AE has stamped self addressed envelope; BE has stamped addressed envelope. * * * [ envələʊp] seal an envelope… …   Combinatory dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

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