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Snail mail

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Comparison of usage frequency between the noun snail mail and its most common antonym:

e-mailsnail mail
Video footage: Girl sending letter in snail mail
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Definition of the noun snail mail

What does snail mail mean as a name of something?


  1. any mail that is physically delivered by the postal service

Alternative definition of the noun snail mail


  1. [retronym] for postal mail, emphasizing its slowness compared to email


"Snail Mail" is a video game.

  • developer: Alpha72 Games
  • genres: Action game, Racing video game
  • publisher: Sandlot Games
  • released on (10 years ago)


Snail mail or smail —named after the snail with its slow speed—refers to letters and missives carried by conventional postal delivery services. Also named after the "snail-trail" used to glue the envelope. The phrase refers to the lag-time between dispatch of a letter and its receipt, versus the virtually instantaneous dispatch and delivery of its electronic equivalent, e-mail.

  • also known as 蜗牛邮件

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Snail mail

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewComputer Technology Encyclopedia (2008)

by Michael Graves

snail mail Conventional delivery services, such as the United States Postal Service, Federal Express, or United Parcel Service. These services are as slow as a snail when compared to electronic ...

Google previewDictionary of Media and Communications (2014)

by Marcel Danesi

The Internet has recently brought a great deal of slang created and used by computer users into common usage: snail mail (letters delivered by the postal service), hacker (an expert computer programmer often involved in illegal activities), ...

Google previewThe Dream Encyclopedia (2009)

by James R Lewis, Evelyn Dorothy Oliver

Snail We often association snails with slowness, and a dream about snails could relate to our sense of something moving as a “snail's pace” or a communication arriving via “snail mail.” Alternatively, as an animal with a hard shell, a snail can ...

Google previewRandom House Webster's Rhyming Dictionary (2008)

by Random House

mainsail, Mach scale, mare's tail, moon snail, oxtail, pass-fail, percale, pigtail, pintail, pinwale, présale, prevail, rattail, regale, resale, retail, ringtail, sea kale, sei whale, shirttail, slop pail, small- scale, snail mail, sperm whale, split rail, spritsail, ...

Google previewNew American Roget's College Thesaurus in Dictionary Form (Revised &Updated) (2002)

by Philip D. Morehead

Informal, snail mail. b. letterhead, inside address, salutation, letter body, complimentary close, address, destination, enclosure, attachment, P.S., P.P.S. 3, a. mail, post, postal service; post office, post office box, P.O . box, general post office, ...

Google previewDictionary of Personal Computing and the Internet (1997)

by S. M. H. Collin

protocol snail mail slang term used to refer to the normal (slow) postal delivery rather than (near instant) electronic mail delivery ...

Google previewBlackie’s Dictionary of Computer Science (2013)

by Blackie

smart terminal snail mail smart terminal See intelligent terminal. Smartdrive A Microsoft MS DOS disk cache program to speed up disk access. Typing SMARTDRV /S at a DOS prompt shows the cache size, a hit-and-miss report, and ...

Google previewCollins Rhyming Dictionary (2014)

by Rosalind Fergusson

abseil, gaffsail, Arndale, guardrail, Airedale, airmail, Swaledale, snail mail, facemail, staysail,mainsail, telltale,checkrail, bedrail, headrail, headsail, shirttail, sperm whale, seakale, Bleasdale, Ruisdael, detail, etail, retail, email,female, treenail, ...

Google previewThe Social Media Revolution: An Economic Encyclopedia of Friending, Following, Texting, and Connecting (2016)

An Economic Encyclopedia of Friending, Following, Texting, and Connecting by Jarice Hanson

When e-mail first became available, it was typical for a person to have to concentrate to think about how to use the system, but, very soon, sending an e- mail became easier than sending traditional mail (also called snail mail because of its ...

Google previewComputer Jargon Dictionary and Thesaurus (2006)

by Eddie Martin

Signature; Simple Mail Transfer Protocol; SMTP; Snail Mail; Spam; Spambot; Spamoflage; Spim; Spoofing; Thread; Webmail; Electronically Programmed Read Only Memory (EPROM). A ROM chip whose contents can be programmed and ...

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snail mail

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Small photo of a snail mailSmall photo of Snail Mail Envelope - Everyone loves getting REAL mailSmall photo of Snail mail isolated on white backgroundSmall photo of snail mail postal box on the gateSmall photo of Snail carrying an envelope isolated on white (snail mail concept)Small photo of Vintage Mail Slot | Snail MailSmall photo of Snail mail More...

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