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[meyl-boks] /ˈmeɪlˌbɒks/
a public box in which mail is placed for pickup and delivery by the post office.
a private box, as at a home, into which mail is delivered by the mail carrier.
Computers. a file for storing electronic mail.
Origin of mailbox
First recorded in 1800-10; mail1 + box1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mailbox
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There he was observed opening a mailbox, and the name thereon was duly recorded.

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • He'd checked the mailbox beside the front porch but there'd been no name.

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • You didn't happen to notice whether the mailbox flag was up, did you?

    Highways in Hiding George Oliver Smith
  • Oscar's the one who actual put it in the mailbox and stole the stamp!

    Master of None Lloyd Neil Goble
  • He remembered the mail and raised the window and reached down into the mailbox.

    The Last Place on Earth James Judson Harmon
British Dictionary definitions for mailbox


(mainly US & Canadian)
  1. a slot, usually covered with a hinged flap, through which letters, etc are delivered to a building
  2. a private box into which letters, etc, are delivered Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) letter box
(mainly US & Canadian) a public box into which letters, etc, are put for collection and delivery Also called (in Britain and certain other countries) postbox
(on a computer) the directory in which e-mail messages are stored; also used of the icon that can be clicked to provide access to e-mails
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
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Word Origin and History for mailbox

also mail-box, 1797, "box for mailbags on a coach," from mail (n.1) + box (n.1). Meaning "letterbox" is from 1853, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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