Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To enclose or encase completely with or as if with a covering: "Accompanying the darkness, a stillness envelops the city” ( Curtis Wilkie).
  • transitive v. To attack (an enemy's flank).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To surround or enclose.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To put a covering about; to wrap up or in; to inclose within a case, wrapper, integument or the like; to surround entirely

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cover, as by wrapping or folding; inwrap; invest with or as with a covering; surround entirely; cover on all sides.
  • To form a covering about; lie around and conceal.
  • To line; cover on the inside.
  • Synonyms To encircle, encompass, infold, wrap up.
  • n. A wrapper; an inclosing cover; an integument: as, the envelop of a seed. Specifically
  • n. A prepared wrapper for a letter or other paper, so made that it can be sealed.
  • n. 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. 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.
  • n. In geometry, a curve or surface touching a continuous series of curves or surfaces.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering

Etymologies

Middle English envolupen, to be involved in, from Old French envoluper, envoloper : en-, in; see en-1 + voloper, to wrap up.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English envolupen, from Old French envoluper (modern French envelopper), from en- "in" + voloper, vloper "to wrap, wrap up" (compare Italian -viluppare; Old Italian alternate form goluppare "to wrap") from Vulgar Latin base *vlopp-, *wlopp- "to wrap" from Proto-Germanic *wrappan-, *wlappan- (“to wrap, roll up, turn, wind”), from Proto-Indo-European *werb- (“to turn, bend”) . Akin to Middle English wlappen ("to wrap, fold") (Modern English lap "to wrap, involve, fold"), Middle English wrappen ("to wrap"), Middle Dutch lappen ("to wrap up, embrace"), Danish dialectal vravle "to wind, twist", Middle Low German wrempen "to wrinkle, distort", Old English wearp ("warp"). More at in, wrap (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Accumulate all the possible circumstances which shall reinforce the right motives; put yourself assiduously in conditions that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old; take a public pledge, if the case allows; in short, envelop your resolution with every aid you know.

    Problems of Conduct

  • Now, that, "she added, holding out a blue envelop," is an advertisement for cold cream which no lady should be without; and that "– holding out a yellow envelop –" is an advertisement for beef extract which no brainworker should be without; and that "– holding out a white envelop –" is the worst of all, because it looks like a legitimate letter, and it 's nothing but a 'Dear

    When Patty Went to College

  • Accumulate all the possible circumstances which shall re-enforce the right motives; put yourself assiduously in conditions that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old; take a public pledge, if the case allows; in short, envelop your resolution with every aid you know.

    An Interpretation of Rudolf Eucken's Philosophy

  • "I have here a note," Mr. Bronson said after another pause, in which he picked up an envelop from the table and drew forth a written sheet.

    Chapter VII

  • _ Accumulate all the possible circumstances which shall reinforce the right motives; put yourself assiduously in conditions that encourage the new way; make engagements incompatible with the old; take a public pledge, if the case allows; in short, envelop your resolution with every aid you know. "

    How to Study and Teaching How to Study

  • Not much in the way of details and the picture seems to show a unit with a front panel printed on paper and folded round the box, but the Jomox M-Resonator looks interesting - some kind of envelop-following dual filter that uses technology from the cricket-chirrup-generating Resonator Neuronium.

    Jomox M-Resonator Filter Box

  • The "envelop" was probably similar to the wooden ones found by Stein in the Tarim basin; cf. Serindia, vol. IV, pl. xxi.

    The History of the Former Han Dynasty

  • The cheese shouldn't be runny, but should envelop the bread.

    Switzerland's Best Fondue

  • Not a day goes by that history does not envelop me in ways that inform the present, through the narratives of ordinary people, places and events.

    Virginia Sanchez-Korrol: Of Teachers and History: A Brooklyn Memoir

  • Congress now faces questions that could envelop December in another round of partisan jockeying.

    Deficit Effort Nears Collapse

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