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envelope

[en-vuh-lohp, ahn-] /ˈɛn vəˌloʊp, ˈɑn-/
noun
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.
Biology. a surrounding or enclosing structure, as a corolla or an outer membrane.
4.
Geometry. a curve or surface tangent to each member of a set of curves or surfaces.
5.
Radio. (of a modulated carrier wave) a curve connecting the peaks of a graph of the instantaneous value of the electric or magnetic component of the carrier wave as a function of time.
6.
the fabric structure enclosing the gasbag of an aerostat.
7.
the gasbag itself.
8.
Electronics. the airtight glass or metal housing of a vacuum tube.
9.
the technical limits within which an aircraft or electronic system may be safely operated.
Idioms
10.
push the envelope, to stretch established limits, as in technological advance or social innovation.
Also, envelop.
Origin
1700-1710
1700-10; < French enveloppe, derivative of envelopper to envelop
Can be confused
envelop, envelope.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for envelopes
  • Only five people died from the genuine article, which they inhaled from mailed envelopes.
  • She separated them into individual letters, put them in envelopes, and walked around the ship delivering them.
  • Catalogs, circulars, garish envelopes with address windows.
  • We're instructed to open our envelopes, which contain three identical hole-punched tickets divided into six segments each.
  • By her own description, she was industrious, stuffing envelopes with marketing fliers and rubber-stamping the return envelopes.
  • Back out in the street, the shopping throng envelopes us.
  • Yet he motioned for the tycoons to open the envelopes.
  • The opportunities for envelopes stuffed with banknotes to change hands are thus minimised.
  • She was unarmed and slipping tellers hand-written demands on envelopes.
  • He has personally distributed brown envelopes stuffed with cash to lucky peasants, teachers and officials up and down the country.
British Dictionary definitions for envelopes

envelope

/ˈɛnvəˌləʊp; ˈɒn-/
noun
1.
a flat covering of paper, usually rectangular in shape and with a flap that can be folded over and sealed, used to enclose a letter, etc
2.
any covering or wrapper
3.
(biology) any enclosing structure, such as a membrane, shell, or skin
4.
the bag enclosing the gas in a balloon
5.
(maths) a curve or surface that is tangent to each one of a group of curves or surfaces
6.
(electronics) the sealed glass or metal housing of a valve, electric light, etc
7.
(telecomm) the outer shape of a modulated wave, formed by the peaks of successive cycles of the carrier wave
8.
(informal) push the envelope, to push the boundaries of what is possible
Word Origin
C18: from French enveloppe, from envelopper to wrap around; see envelop; sense 8 from aeronautics jargon, referring to graphs of aircraft performance
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
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Word Origin and History for envelopes

envelope

n.

1705, from French enveloppe (13c.), a back-formation from envelopper "to envelop" (see envelop).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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envelopes in Medicine

envelope en·ve·lope (ěn'və-lōp', ŏn'-)
n.
An enclosing structure or cover, such as a membrane or the outer coat of a virus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for envelopes

14
18
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