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



    BrE BrE//ˈenvələʊp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈenvəloʊp//
    ; BrE BrE//ˈɒnvələʊp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːnvəloʊp//
    jump to other results
  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 Origin mid 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