Idiom:  think outside the box

Picture of a box of lightbulbs with one lightbulb floating above the box and the light turned on with a halo-shadow around it and caption


think outside the box:  

  • to think creatively to find new ways of doing things or solving problems

Example sentences

  • Advertising agencies must think outside the box to come up with fresh new ideas that will grab consumers' attention.
  • Some of the best inventions have come from someone taking a regular product and adapting it by thinking outside the box.
  • Scheduling walking meetings rather than sitting around a table is a good example of how corporate America started thinking outside the box about group discussions.
  • Our company encourages thinking outside the box by allowing us to work on whatever we want every Thursday afternoon.
  • We've hired a consultant to help us foster activities that will help our employees think outside the box.
  • This company is going to go out of business unless we start thinking outside the box.
  • Parents who home school their children often think outside the box when creating educational activities.
  • Talk about literally thinking outside the box! EBay's new augmented reality feature helps sellers determine which size U.S. Postal Service Flat Rate Box will best fit their items.
  • If Apple hadn't thought outside the box, we'd probably still be using flip phones and carrying MP3 players.
  • Here's an idea:  Why not just provide excellent customer service instead of trying to think outside the box to create a new product?


  • pull a rabbit out of a hat
  • rise to the challenge
  • square the circle

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