Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

push the envelope

push the envelope
1) be innovative, go beyond what is expected
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • we need to push the envelope on this project/presentation
  • Analysis
    To 'push the envelope' means to go beyond what is expected or what is the norm, to extend beyond the limits. "We need to push the envelope if we want to come up with an innovative solution." "This launch needs to push the envelope of anything we have done to date." This idiom is considered a bit of a cliché to some due to overuse. When you push the envelope you aim to impress or achieve more than is expected.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. There are a lot of clients present tonight, so we really need to push the envelope and exceed all of their expectations.

    2. Stephanie has worked very hard this year, so I'm going to push the envelope and give her a generous bonus.

  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. In school, I push the envelope and get the highest grade possible rather than just trying to pass my subjects.
    2. I really admire and that journalist. Her writing pushes the envelope of what I expect from a reporter in her genre.
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