think outside the box

think outside the box


  • think out of the box
  • out of the box thinking


  • think differently
  • to be creative and produce something that is not usual or boring
  • to come up with something that is unique and interesting
  • look at the broader context of a problem, challenge etc.

Example Sentences

  1. The team always thinks outside the box to come up with unique advertisements for all its clients.
  2. This particular technology is quite out of the box in nature and should be a hit really easily.
  3. I teach my children to think of solutions which are outside the box. It helps them with problem solving and innovative thinking.
  4. In our organisation, thinking outside the box has an added advantage for all of the employees.
  5. This out of the box thinking has helped save many lives when travelling by the sea.
  6. I am trying to think outside the box to make this event a success at any cost this year.
  7. Sarah has spent her whole life in performing a routine job work so don’t expect that she would ever be able to think outside the box.


The phrase originates from a simile which draws a person’s thought in comparison to a box and how anything outside seems far-fetched and unachievable. It comes from the advertisement and marketing world where products compete for space in the market. Thinking outside the box helps the product life-cycle to become longer. The literary origin can be traced to the 20th century.

T 4 Thoughts

4 Thoughts

A comparatively easy puzzle and requires out of box thinking.
What letter comes in _
J, F, M, A, M, J, J, A, S, O, N, _

- Kishor Bharucha May 29, 2021

There’s a puzzle with 9 dots in a square or “box” pattern. Puzzle solvers are asked to “set down pen(cil) and draw exactly 4 straight lines through all 9 dots,” it is only possible if one draws a big arrow with the corners of the triangle at the head “outside the box”.

- Greg Stone August 31, 2020

I love this online book of idioms and phrase. It is very helpful and good to read.

- Jimmy Satugay March 3, 2019

I am truly amazed by these amazing idioms and definitions

- Rudy Bennit October 27, 2017

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Idiom of the Day

put your foot in it

Meaning: say something (by mistake) that upsets, humiliates, or embarrasses someone

Example: Carla put her foot right in it when she congratulated her neighbour on being pregnant. It turns out she's not expecting but had just put on weight. Read on


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