Etymology
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envelope (n.)

"a wrapper, an enclosing cover," specifically a prepared wrapper for a letter or other paper, 1705, from French enveloppe (13c.), a back-formation from envelopper "to envelop" (see envelop).

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Definitions of envelope

envelope (n.)
a flat (usually rectangular) container for a letter, thin package, etc.;
envelope (n.)
any wrapper or covering;
envelope (n.)
a curve that is tangent to each of a family of curves;
envelope (n.)
a natural covering (as by a fluid);
the spacecraft detected an envelope of gas around the comet
envelope (n.)
the maximum operating capability of a system (especially an aircraft);
test pilots try to push the envelope
envelope (n.)
the bag containing the gas in a balloon;
Synonyms: gasbag
From wordnet.princeton.edu