think outside (of) the box

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

think outside the box

have ideas that are original, creative, or innovative. informal
See also: box, outside, think
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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