• WordNet 3.6
    • v envelop enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering "Fog enveloped the house"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There was a post office on the Russian space station Mir. Visiting cosmonauts would use unique postal "markers" to stamp envelopes and other items as having flown aboard the Mir space station
    • Envelop (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.
    • Envelop 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.
    • Envelop (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.
    • Envelop 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.
    • Envelop (Astron) The nebulous covering of the head or nucleus of a comet; -- called also coma.
    • v. t Envelop To put a covering about; to wrap up or in; to inclose within a case, wrapper, integument or the like; to surround entirely; as, to envelop goods or a letter; the fog envelops a ship. "Nocturnal shades this world envelop ."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Francis Scott Key wrote the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the back on an envelope. The music is from an old English drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven."
    • envelop To cover, as by wrapping or folding; inwrap; invest with or as with a covering; surround entirely; cover on all sides.
    • envelop To form a covering about; lie around and conceal.
    • envelop To line; cover on the inside.
    • envelop Synonyms To encircle, encompass, infold, wrap up.
    • n envelop A wrapper; an inclosing cover; an integument: as, the envelop of a seed. Specifically
    • n envelop A prepared wrapper for a letter or other paper, so made that it can be sealed.
    • n envelop In fortification, a work of earth in form of a parapet, or of a small rampart with a parapet, raised to cover some weak part of the works.
    • n envelop In astronomy, a shell partly surrounding the nucleus of a comet on the side next the sun and away from the tail, and appearing like a semicircular arch. Large comets generally show several of these under the telescope. They successively rise from the nucleus and disappear.
    • n envelop In geometry, a curve or surface touching a continuous series of curves or surfaces. Thus, suppose a plane curve to undergo a continuous change in its shape and position; then the curve as it is at any instant is intersected by the curve as it is at any subsequent instant, and the closer the second instant follows after the first the closer do these intersections approach certain positions on the first curve. These positions are points on the envelop, and in this way all the points on the envelop are determined. If t is a variable parameter, and P = 0 is the equation of the surface, then the equation obtained by eliminating t between P = 0 and dP/dt = 0 is the equation to the envelop. Or if there are two variable parameters, s and t, the equation of the envelop is obtained by eliminating them between P = 0, dP/ds = 0, and dP/dt = 0. Every curve may thus be regarded as an envelop. Caustics, evolutes, etc., are so by their definitions.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Envelop en-vel′up to cover by wrapping: to surround entirely: to hide
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  • Charles Baudelaire
    “The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it.”
  • Joseph French Johnson
    Joseph French Johnson
    “The man who works for the gold in the job rather than for the money in the pay envelope, is the fellow who gets on.”
  • John Maynard Keynes
    “The social object of skilled investment should be to defeat the dark forces of time and ignorance which envelope our future.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “The purity men love is like the mists which envelope the earth, and not like the azure ether beyond.”
  • Clifton Fadiman
    Clifton Fadiman
    “For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.”


Push the envelope - This means to go to the limits, to do something to the maximum possible.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. envolupen, envolipen, OF. envoluper, envoleper, F. envelopper,; pref. en-,L. in,) + voluper, voleper,. See Develop
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. enveloper; origin obscure. Skeat refers it to the assumed Teut. root of M. E. wlappen, Eng. lap.


In literature:

A sudden warmth enveloped her from heart to foot.
"The Branding Iron" by Katharine Newlin Burt
Lila read the letter, replaced it in the envelope, and walking across the little room threw herself again face downward on the bed.
"Beatrice Leigh at College" by Julia Augusta Schwartz
The pocket was unbuttoned, and the big envelope had gone.
"Brandon of the Engineers" by Harold Bindloss
On the envelope he explains this, and expresses his regret.
"Luke Walton" by Horatio Alger
The date on the tag should be transferred to the seed envelope.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study" by Ontario Ministry of Education
It was a long, official-looking envelope that he held in his hand.
"Uncle Sam's Boys as Lieutenants" by H. Irving Hancock
There, she showed him, was a bundle of grey envelopes, the corresponding paper beside it.
"No Clue" by James Hay
She was not at all surprised when Antonia handed her a sealed envelope.
"Children of the Desert" by Louis Dodge
Go to the trunk and search till you find a paper folded in an envelope with your name.
"A Cousin's Conspiracy" by Horatio Alger
His hurried thoughts were suddenly interrupted by some light object enveloping his head and shoulders.
"The Submarine Hunters" by Percy F. Westerman

In poetry:

Iron, but unforgotten,
Iron, dawn-hearted,
Ever-beating dawn-heart, enveloped in iron against the exile,
against the ages.
"Almond Blossom" by D H Lawrence
The midday sun crushed and I felt
Your vibration like the grim night,
Your withered face enveloped with the roots of grain
I felt.
"Midday Sun" by Arun Mitra
Close the curtain that envelopes
Futurity's untravell'd sphere;
Days of love and peace untroubled
May be treasur'd for thee there.
"When Shall I Flee Away, and Be at Rest?" by Caroline Fry
I would pierce thro' futurity's shade,
And seek for the pleasures in store;
But a mist still envelopes the scene,
And fancy will aid me no more.
"Absence" by Elizabeth Bath
Light without limit envelops their eye,
air trembles, sated by a beauty without like.
In this realm perfect spirits walk,
There stands in eternal light my true I.
"Idea" by Karin Boye
You have seen him envelop'd in dark-boding clouds,
When the rain and the tempest appears,
When the mists of the ev'ning compass'd him round,
And shadow'd his beauty in tears.
"The Setting Sun" by Caroline Fry

In news:

Torchlight 2 is a fun, addicting game but it doesn't push the action-RPG envelope to new heights.
" Tropic Thunder" is pushing the envelope too far for groups representing the mentally disabled.
Trumbo Directed by Peter Askin Samuel Goldwyn Films and Red Envelope Entertainment Opens June 27, Lincoln Plaza and Sunshine Cinema.
Courtesy photo Smog envelops the skyline of Los Angeles.
When the sun is searing and the humidity enveloping, big New World cabernet sauvignon, syrah and zinfandel wines are oppressive.
Born Lucas MacFadden in early-'70s Los Angeles, Cut came up at a time when DJs were starting to push the envelope creatively with production and live shows.
Cholera Epidemic Envelops Coastal Slums in West Africa .
The white powder y substance that spilled from an envelope mailed to a state office has tested harmless.
The FBI says it suspects the mailings of hundreds of envelopes containing white powder over the last four years are the work of someone in Texas.
More than 380 threatening letters in envelopes containing white powder have shown up across the US and overseas since 2008.
An estimated 380 white-powder envelopes have been mailed since 2008.
The FBI in Dallas and Washington would not comment on whether the individual is the same one who early this year sent white-powder envelopes to dozens of members of Congress.
An envelope containing an unidentified white powder was found Thursday at a third Houston elementary school, following two similar incidents on Wednesday.
Police say the white powder contained in several envelopes that were mailed to various bank branches in New York City turned out to be non-toxic.
Police say seven envelopes were sent Monday to several Wells Fargo branches, a JP Morgan Chase branch and an office building.

In science:

Pushing the Envelope: Planning, Propositional Logic and Stochastic Search.
QUIP - A Tool for Computing Nonmonotonic Reasoning Tasks
Simultaneous ignition thus requires synchronization of the thermal state of the accreted envelope to one part in 103 –10 4 over the surface.
Rotational Evolution During Type I X-Ray Bursts
The second term is the O(H /R) correction to this because the envelope is extended.
Rotational Evolution During Type I X-Ray Bursts
If A is an algebra in a variety V, the enveloping ringoid for A, with respect to V, is a certain ringoid denoted by Z[A, V], which has the underlying set of A as its set of ob jects, and such that the category of left Z[A, V]-modules is isomorphic to the category Ab[A, V].
Abelian extensions of algebras in congruence-modular varieties
In tandem we have looked for observational evidence that the HCN is forming in the inner envelope the S star χ Cyg.
HCN in the inner envelope of {chi} Cygni