think outside (of) the box

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Also found in: Acronyms.

think outside (of) the box

To think of something that is outside of or beyond what is considered usual, traditional, or conventional; to think innovatively. I've been trying to think outside the box about what I want this term paper to be about. I know the professor hates unoriginal ideas. OK, team, we really need to think outside of the box if we're going to impress the CEO.
See also: box, outside, think

think outside the box

Fig. to think freely, not bound by old, nonfunctional, or limiting structures, rules, or practices. (As if thinking or creativity were confined in or limited by a figurative box. Compare this with think inside the box.) You won't come up with good ideas until you think outside the box. Let's think outside the box for a minute and try to find a better solution.
See also: box, outside, think

think outside the box

If you think outside the box, you have new and unusual ideas. They need to be able to think outside the box and move their role away from a purely technical focus.
See also: box, outside, think

think outside the box

have ideas that are original, creative, or innovative. informal
See also: box, outside, think
References in periodicals archive ?
But communities are being asked to think outside of the box and step in to save the iconic red phone boxes by adopting them for just PS1.
Questions like these are asking you to describe your personality and test your ability to think outside of the box.
His wisdom, ability to think outside of the box and vision has also been instrumental to our success over the years.
WHEN it comes to voting, people need to think outside of the box.
Normally pastry chefs are very set in their ways and can't think outside of the box.
Owner wants you to think outside of the box to purchase this business
It demands you think outside of the box, go outside of the comfort zone, the opportunity is there.
When it comes to earning extra money on the homestead, don't be afraid to think outside of the box.
As industry leaders we strive to think outside of the box with our new product developments and we are confident that our trial fields will reflect this in the coming months.
Kids need to know how to think outside of the box to create jobs rather than hoping to find one.
Geoff tends to think outside of the box and I wouldn't try to guess which way he's going to go.
I think they learn to think outside of the box and realise learning can be fun.
We need to think outside of the box and reward people who are prepared to put in an honest week's work for a very modest week's pay.
Think outside of the box when it comes to storage and display.