Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Etymology 1[edit]

From French enveloppe. The engineering sense is derived from flight envelope.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɛn.və.ləʊp/, (chiefly senses 1 and 2) /ˈɒn.və.ləʊp/, /ˈɑ̃.və.ləʊp/[1]
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (General American) enPR: ĕn′vəlōp', än′vəlōp'; IPA(key): /ˈɛn.vəˌloʊp/, /ˈɑn.vəˌloʊp/
  • (file)
  • (file)


envelope (plural envelopes)

  1. A paper or cardboard wrapper used to enclose small, flat items, especially letters, for mailing.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.
  2. Something that envelops; a wrapping.
  3. A bag containing the lifting gas of a balloon or airship; fabric that encloses the gas-bags of an airship.
    • 1992, Lieutenant Colonel Donald E. Ryan, Jr, The airship's potential for intertheater and intratheater airlift, DIANE Publishing, page 46:
      They have no internal or external support structure, being simply a fabric bag (or envelope) filled with a lighter than air gas. Inside the envelope are one or more "ballonets", or smaller bags, which help maintain the envelope's shape.
  4. (geometry) A mathematical curve, surface, or higher-dimensional object that is the tangent to a given family of lines, curves, surfaces, or higher-dimensional objects.
  5. (electronics) A curve that bounds another curve or set of curves, as the modulation envelope of an amplitude-modulated carrier wave in electronics.
  6. (music) The shape of a sound, which may be controlled by a synthesizer or sampler.
  7. (computing) The information used for routing a message that is transmitted with the message but not part of its contents.
  8. (biology) An enclosing structure or cover, such as a membrane; a space between two membranes
  9. (engineering) The set of limitations within which a technological system can perform safely and effectively.
  10. (astronomy) The nebulous covering of the head or nucleus of a comet; a coma.
  11. An earthwork in the form of a single parapet or a small rampart, sometimes raised in the ditch and sometimes beyond it.
    • 1816, James Stanier Clarke, The Life of James the Second King of England:
      make a blind all along the bottom of the ditch of the Envelope
  • (something that envelops): wrapper
  • (bag containing the lifting gas): gasbag
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

See envelop.



envelope (third-person singular simple present envelopes, present participle enveloping, simple past and past participle enveloped)

  1. Archaic form of envelop.
    • 1877, James Booth, A Treatise on Some New Geometrical Methods (page 209)
      Again, if the plane of the impressed couple intersects the mean plane between N and C, it will envelope the cone whose focals are ON, ON′, and whose internal axis is therefore OA.


  1. ^ The Chambers Dictionary, 9th Ed., 2003


 envelope on Portuguese Wikipedia


From French enveloppe, from envelopper.



envelope m (plural envelopes)

  1. envelope