- letters, packages, etc., that are sent or delivered by means of the postal system: Storms delayed delivery of the mail.
- a single collection of such letters, packages, etc., as sent or delivered: to open one's mail; to find a bill in the mail; The mail for England was put on the noon plane.
- Also mails. the system, usually operated or supervised by the national government, for sending or delivering letters, packages, etc.; postal system: to buy clothes by mail.
- a train, boat, etc., as a carrier of postal matter.
- electronic mail; email.
- of or relating to mail.
- to send by mail; place in a post office or mailbox for transmission.
- to transmit by email.
- copy the mail, Citizens Band Radio Slang. to monitor or listen to a CB transmission.
Origin of mail1
- Also called (esp Brit): post letters, packages, etc, that are transported and delivered by the post office
- the postal system
- a single collection or delivery of mail
- a train, ship, or aircraft that carries mail
- short for electronic mail
- (modifier) of, involving, or used to convey maila mail train
- mainly US and Canadian to send by mailUsual Brit word: post
- to contact (a person) by electronic mail
- to send (a message, document, etc) by electronic mail
- a type of flexible armour consisting of riveted metal rings or links
- the hard protective shell of such animals as the turtle and lobster
- (tr) to clothe or arm with mail
- archaic, mainly Scot a monetary payment, esp of rent or taxes
- Australian informal a rumour or report, esp a racing tip
Word Origin and History for copy the mail
"post, letters," c.1200, "a traveling bag," from Old French male "wallet, bag, bundle," from Frankish *malha or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *malho- (cf. Old High German malaha "wallet, bag," Middle Dutch male "bag"), from PIE *molko- "skin, bag." Sense extension to "letters and parcels" (18c.) is via "bag full of letter" (1650s) or "person or vehicle who carries postal matter" (1650s). In 19c. England, mail was letters going abroad, while home dispatches were post. Sense of "personal batch of letters" is from 1844, originally American English.
"metal ring armor," c.1300, from Old French maille "link of mail, mesh of net," from Latin macula "mesh in a net," originally "spot, blemish," on notion that the gaps in a net or mesh looked like spots.
"send by post," 1828, American English, from mail (n.1). Related: Mailed; mailing; mailable. Mailing list attested from 1876.
"rent, payment," from Old English mal (see blackmail (n.)).