push the envelope


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push the envelope

Fig. to expand the definition, categorization, dimensions, or perimeters of something. The engineers wanted to completely redesign the product, but couldn't push the envelope because of a very restricted budget.
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push (the edge of) the envelope

to move beyond the limit of what has usually been done or was the accepted standard TV shows are really pushing the envelope by showing so much sex and violence.
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push the envelope

Exceed the limits of what is normally done, be innovative, as in They are pushing the envelope in using only new fabrics for winter clothing. This idiom comes from aviation, the envelope alluding to the technical limits of a plane's performance, which, on a graph, appear as a rising slope as limits of speed and stress are approached and falls off when the capacity is exceeded and the pilot loses control; safety lies within these limits, or envelope, and exceeding them exposes pilot and plane to risk. [Slang; late 1960s]
See also: envelope, push

push the envelope

To exceed or try to exceed the existing limits of a discipline or activity.
See also: envelope, push
References in periodicals archive ?
Gelbart: ``I don't mind when they push the envelope, but I do mind when they use the envelope to wipe my ass.
Their designs push the envelope of physical chip design making them perfect candidates for the early design-planning capabilities of Chip2Nite.
We will continue to push the envelope of innovation by developing scaleable solutions across disparate networks and geographies that help to provide real business value to customers like KDDI.
As the market for power-conscious applications such as PDAs, cell phones and MP3 players continues to grow, SoC designers need to actively push the envelope of low power design.
FSTC projects push the envelope of financial services technology, focusing on areas where industry collaboration is possible, and needed, to enable new products, reduce costs and risk, or expand market reach.
To assure that Medusa continues to push the envelope with competitive advantages, our priority was to deliver truly universal functionality and features that drive airtight revenue assurance for all service providers," stated Tamal Bardhan, UshaComm's chief mediation product manager.
Using their combined expertise across Machine Learning, natural language processing, security and messaging, Laboratory researchers continue to push the envelope in spam detection techniques, ensuring that MLX spam effectiveness maintains itself over time.