Open main menu

Wiktionary β

See also: out-of-the-box



Alternative formsEdit


Prepositional phraseEdit

out of the box

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: See out of, the, box.
  2. (idiomatic, of a product) Immediate(ly), without intervention from the customer.
    This software has to work out of the box, without any fancy installation.
  3. (idiomatic) Outside the box; unconventional(ly): outside the limits of conventional thinking.
    • 2004, Deborrah Himsel, Leadership Sopranos Style: How to Become a More Effective Boss, Kaplan Publishing, →ISBN, page 135:
      He started out with the rather obvious alternative of talking to Junior; Hesh’s scheme was more imaginative; and Tony’s idea of torching the restaurant really is out of the box.
    • 2005, John Campbell Self, Faeries’ Dance, Cupid’s Dream, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 16:
      Mom and dad didn’t have a ready answer to Mort’s out of the box idea, but Mickey did.
    • 2007, Allan Wolf, Zane's Trace, Candlewick Press, →ISBN, page 63:
      She: You’re not trying to think out of the box!

Usage notesEdit

  • In the sense "unconventionally", outside the box is more frequently used, more than three to one in the US, perhaps to avoid confusion with the other sense of "out of the box". Also used is "outside of the box".


Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.