- Envelope En"vel*ope (?; 277), Envelop En*vel"op (?; 277), n.
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.
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]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.
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