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email

or e-mail, E-mail

[ee-meyl]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a system for sending messages from one individual to another via telecommunications links between computers or terminals using dedicated software: Communication by email is almost instantaneous.
  2. a message sent by email: Send me an email about that idea, and I'll get back to you.
verb (used with object)
  1. to send a message to by email: When you email me, don't forget to attach the documents.

Origin of email

First recorded in 1980–85; e(lectronic) + mail1

Word story

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for e-mail

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Our e-mail reaches us as it reaches those to whom we send messages, even though most people have no idea how.

  • Determining the paths of an e-mail message is trivial for a machine, but almost impossible for a human being.

  • If you come across a long passage that you recognize, e-mail lucy2424 at sbcglobal dot net.

    Alida

    Amelia Stratton Comfield


British Dictionary definitions for e-mail

e-mail

email

noun
  1. short for electronic mail
verb (tr)
  1. to contact (a person) by electronic mail
  2. to send (a message, document, etc) by electronic mail
Derived Formse-mailer, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for e-mail

1982, short for electronic mail (1977; see electronic + mail (n.1)); this led to the contemptuous application of snail mail (1983) to the old system.

Even aerial navigation in 1999 was found too slow to convey and deliver the mails. The pneumatic tube system was even swifter, and with such facilities at hand it is not surprising that people in San Francisco received four daily editions of the Manhattan journals, although the distance between Sandy Hook and the Golden Gate is a matter of 3,600 miles. ["Looking Forward," Arthur Bird, 1899]

Associated Press style guide collapsed it to email 2011.

email

n.

a type of pottery design pattern, c.1877, from French email (12c.), literally "enamel" (see enamel (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

e-mail in Science

e-mail

  1. A system for sending and receiving messages electronically over a computer network. E-mail is asynchronous and does not require the receiver of the message to be online at the time the message is sent or received. E-mail also allows a user to distribute messages to large numbers of recipients instantaneously.
  2. A message or messages sent or received by such a system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

e-mail in Culture

e-mail

E-mail has become one of the most widely used aspects of the Internet, because it provides a means of mass communication to almost anywhere in the world at high speed.

Note

The proliferation of spam and the transmission of computer viruses through e-mail attachments are two of the more problematic aspects of this technology.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.