Meaning of ENVELOPE in English

en ‧ ve ‧ lope S3 /ˈenvələʊp $ -loʊp/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1700-1800 ; Language: French ; Origin: enveloppe , from Old French envoloper ; ⇨ ↑ envelop ]

1 . a thin paper cover in which you put and send a letter:

envelopes and stamps

She tore open the envelope and frantically read the letter.

He got a job stuffing envelopes (=filling them with letters) at the campaign headquarters.

⇨ ↑ sae , ↑ SASE

2 . a layer of something that surrounds something else

envelope of

an envelope of gases around the planet

3 . push the envelope especially American English to try to go beyond the normal limits of something:

a musician who pushes the envelope of improvisation

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■ verbs

▪ open an envelope

I opened the envelope, pulled out the document and read it.

▪ tear/rip open an envelope (=open it quickly and roughly)

My fingers trembled as I tore open the envelope.

▪ slit open an envelope (=open it by cutting it)

I quickly slit open the envelope.

▪ seal an envelope (=close it)

She sealed the envelope and stuck on a stamp.

▪ stuff envelopes (=to put letters or documents into many envelopes, for example as part of a political compaign)

We need volunteers to stuff envelopes and deliver leaflets.

■ adjectives

▪ a pre-paid/stamped-addressed envelope (=with a stamp/a stamp and an address already on it)

A copy of the rules can be obtained by sending a stamped-addressed envelope to the above address.

▪ a self-addressed envelope (=one with your own name and address on)

Enclose a self-addressed envelope with your application form.

▪ a brown/white etc envelope

There was a large brown envelope on his desk.

▪ a manila envelope (=made from strong brown paper)

▪ a sealed envelope (=one that is firmly closed)

The contract was delivered by special messenger in a sealed envelope.

■ phrases

▪ on the back of an envelope (=used to describe a calculation or plan that is written down quickly on any available small piece of paper)

She scribbled a few ideas on the back of an envelope.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.