Grief enveloped him as he sealed the envelope to the divorce papers that he was going to mail to his wife. As tears swelled in his eyes, he reminisced the days when he was still a happily married man who had not a worry in the world.

‘Envelop’ and ‘envelope’ are a tricky set of homophones and one might find it difficult to set them apart at first glance. These homophones not only sound similar but also have spellings that are too close to one another. Moreover, they are believed to have evolved from a common word taken from Old French ‘envoluper’. The confusion between the meanings and spellings of envelop and envelope can cause people to use them in the incorrect context. Envelop is a verb that means to fully cover or enfold something. An envelope, on the other hand, is a noun and refers to a piece of paper employed as a covering for documents sent through snail mail. These envelops are sealable that are locked closed with glue or a quick lick of the tongue (although we don’t advise that because of obvious unhygienic reasons). If you find these terms tricky then follow this article to the end to learn all about these words.

Envelop vs envelope – definitions, meanings, and example sentences

Definition of envelop

Envelop is a verb and it means to enclose or surround something completely. The word envelop can either be employed in the literal sense or figuratively. For example, ‘the shadows enveloped him’ or ‘he was enveloped with joy when he held his baby for the first time.’ When the word is pronounced loudly you will notice that there is emphasis on the second syllable.

Example sentences of envelop

  • The whole plantation was enveloped in fire due to the negligence of the campers. Nearby villagers spent a day and a half trying to gain control of the monstrous flames.

Here, the word ‘envelop’ is used in the literal sense to describe a situation in which a fire has broken out and has spread throughout the forest. People from the nearby villagers came to the rescue and helped in ambushing it.

  • Everything that happened in the last two days has started to envelop my thoughts. The more I think about it, the more I get confused.

In the above sentence, the word envelop is used in a figurative way. If something fails to leave your mind, you can say that it has enveloped your thoughts. The speaker of this sentence is experiencing a sort of anxiety because he witnessed something extreme in the preceding days.

  • The veil that enveloped her face completely not only served religious purposes but functioned as protective gear against the corona virus.

The word ‘envelop’ used here showcases that her face was covered entirely by a veil. The veil served as a trademark of the Muslim world now and also offered direct protection against the lethal corona virus.

Definition of envelope

Envelope is a noun and it is usually used to describe flat wrapping papers that are used to seal letters, money, or important documentation that is to be delivered to a remote destination. When sending letters through snail mail you often stick colorful stamps at the back of the envelopes. A common idiom associated with this word is ‘push the envelope’ which means to test out something new. It is used when someone tries new, radical or extreme ideas. It was initially used while aeronautical limits were being talked about but currently the usage pertains to all physical activities that can be categorized as extreme.

It is noteworthy that when the word envelope is pronounced overtly, the emphasis is laid on the first syllable. This verbal cue will help you differentiate ‘envelope’ from ‘envelop’ during a conversation. The following sentences further showcase how the word is used in everyday life.

Example sentences of envelope

  • They stood in shock as he tore open the envelope addressed from her.

In the above sentence, as the subject opened the envelope (letter wrapping) containing an important letter, his company was stunned.

  • The envelope containing my money arrived early in the mail today.

Here, the word “envelope’ is used to describe the wrapping paper for money. The speaker received the money he had been waiting for earlier that morning.

  • Clouds enveloped the sunny sky as he drew the envelope from the mailbox.

In the above sentence, a scenario is being portrayed where the subject is fetching an envelope from a mailbox and at the same time, the sky has turned from sunny to cloudy.


In conclusion, envelop and envelope are two words that may seem similar but have distinct and clear differences. Thus one word cannot replace the other in a sentence. Envelope differs by the letter ‘e’ in it. An easy way to remember their correct usage is to simply use envelope when discussing paper coverings and envelop when describing a situation where something or someone gets engulfed or covered.