Definition of envelope noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈenvələʊp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈenvəloʊp//
    ; BrE BrE//ˈɒnvələʊp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːnvəloʊp//
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  1. 1  a flat paper container used for sending letters in writing paper and envelopes an airmail/padded/prepaid envelope see also pay envelope, sae, SASE
  2. 2a flat container made of plastic for keeping papers in
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘wrapper, enveloping layer’; originally as envelope): from French enveloppe, from envelopper ‘envelop’. The sense ‘covering of a letter’ dates from the early 18th cent.Extra examples He gave her the envelope of certificates. He quickly stuffed the money back into the envelope. I couldn’t read the address on the envelope. I had put the letter in the wrong envelope. I scribbled his phone number on the back of an envelope. Please enclose a self-addressed envelope if you would like a reply. The envelope was marked ‘Personal’. The letter was suspicious, and I considered steaming open the envelope. To apply, use the enclosed reply-paid envelope (no stamp needed). You don’t earn much stuffing envelopes. a self-addressed stamped envelope an envelope addressed in my mother’s round handwriting an official-looking manila envelope Each item was tagged and sealed in a plastic envelope. Writing paper and envelopes are provided in your room. an airmail/​a padded/​a prepaid envelopeIdioms (informal) to go beyond the limits of what is allowed or thought to be possible He is a performer who consistently pushes the envelope of TV comedy.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: envelope