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He tore open the creamy envelope that had been enclosed in the letter.

This is an example of the word enclose found in Collins English Dictionary. I don't quite understand it. Does it mean there is a creamy envelope in the letter? Or does it mean the creamy envelope and the letter are in another envelope?

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  • Could be there is an envelope inside the envelope that the letter came in, or it could be the letter is just folded over the envelope. Depends on context. Sep 23 '20 at 23:50
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It means that the envelope was inside the letter. It is possible that the letter writer took something, put it in a small envelope, wrapped a letter around the envelope, and then (perhaps) put the letter and envelope in a larger envelope. You might do this if you are sending something small and valuable. The "wrapping" is not strictly necessary, you can "enclose" in a letter just by putting both in the same outer envelope.

I opened the blue envelope and inside was a letter from my mother and a small creamy envelope. The letter read "Dear son, I have found three magic seeds. Plant them and wonderful things will happen". I tore open the creamy envelope that had been enclosed in the letter. Inside were three small seeds, each no bigger than a pinhead.

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I've been checking the instances since yesterday but could not find a single that fits this description.

Everywhere, it's a letter enclosed in an envelope. And, that's it.

Nevertheless, there's someone who can do this - my daughter!

She makes a very small envelop (that again contains a little handmade card) and puts it into a folded letter. Confused? Here is what she makes -

She gives me a big envelope. I open it and see a two-fold letter. I unfold the letter and find a very small envelope that contains a small card saying, 'Dad, I love you!' Why am I calling it a two-fold letter? Because that too has text in it!

Just remove the big envelope in the beginning and rest all is what you found in the dictionary. Indeed, strange and uncommon.

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