out of the box

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See also: out-of-the-box


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Alternative forms[edit]


Prepositional phrase[edit]

out of the box

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: See out of, the, box.
  2. (idiomatic, of a product) Immediately, without intervention from the customer.
    This software has to work out of the box, without any fancy installation.
    • 2019 November 6, “Industry Insider: Blame the policymakers”, in Rail, page 76:
      As well as trade union opposition when the new Class 195s arrived, they could not work 'out of the box' due to gauge clearance issues.
  3. (idiomatic) Outside the box; unconventionally: outside the limits of conventional thinking.
    • 2004, Deborrah Himsel, Leadership Sopranos Style: How to Become a More Effective Boss, Kaplan Publishing, →ISBN, page 135:
      He started out with the rather obvious alternative of talking to Junior; Hesh’s scheme was more imaginative; and Tony’s idea of torching the restaurant really is out of the box.
    • 2005, John Campbell Self, Faeries’ Dance, Cupid’s Dream, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 16:
      Mom and dad didn’t have a ready answer to Mort’s out of the box idea, but Mickey did.
    • 2007, Allan Wolf, Zane's Trace, Candlewick Press, →ISBN, page 63:
      She: You’re not trying to think out of the box!

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the sense "unconventionally", outside the box is more frequently used, more than three to one in the US, perhaps to avoid confusion with the other sense of "out of the box". Also used is "outside of the box".


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


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