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  1. a person who mails or prepares material for mailing.
  2. a container, as a mailing tube or protective envelope, for mailing papers, books, merchandise, etc.
  3. an advertising brochure, form letter, or the like, sent out in the mail.
  4. mailing machine.
  5. Archaic. a mailboat.

Origin of mailer

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; mail1 + -er1


  1. Norman,1923–2007, U.S. writer.


  1. letters, packages, etc., that are sent or delivered by means of the postal system: Storms delayed delivery of the mail.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. a train, boat, etc., as a carrier of postal matter.
  5. electronic mail; email.
  1. of or relating to mail.
verb (used with object)
  1. to send by mail; place in a post office or mailbox for transmission.
  2. to transmit by email.
  1. copy the mail, Citizens Band Radio Slang. to monitor or listen to a CB transmission.

Origin of mail1

1175–1225; Middle English male (noun) < Old French malle < Germanic; compare Old High German mal(a)ha satchel, bag
Can be confusedmail male
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mailer

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The great Pacific mailer was lost in the fog full half a mile away.

    A Wounded Name

    Charles King

  • If they got us out there they could surround us and mailer the life out of us.


    Ellis Parker Butler

  • When she entered the editorial office Tom was putting the last of the papers through the mailer.

  • He inked each galley, placed it in the mailing machine, and then fed the papers into the mailer.

  • This is a very short and simple entry in Mr. Mailer's journal, but it has most solemn significance.

    George Muller of Bristol

    Arthur T. Pierson

British Dictionary definitions for mailer


  1. a person who addresses or mails letters, etc
  2. US and Canadian a machine used for stamping and addressing mail
  3. US and Canadian a container for mailing things


  1. Norman. 1923–2007, US author. His works, which are frequently critical of modern American society, include the war novel The Naked and the Dead (1948), An American Dream (1965), his account of the 1967 peace march on Washington The Armies of the Night (1968), The Executioner's Song (1979), and Barbary Shore (1998)


  1. Also called (esp Brit): post letters, packages, etc, that are transported and delivered by the post office
  2. the postal system
  3. a single collection or delivery of mail
  4. a train, ship, or aircraft that carries mail
  5. short for electronic mail
  6. (modifier) of, involving, or used to convey maila mail train
verb (tr)
  1. mainly US and Canadian to send by mailUsual Brit word: post
  2. to contact (a person) by electronic mail
  3. to send (a message, document, etc) by electronic mail
Derived Formsmailable, adjectivemailability, noun

Word Origin

C13: from Old French male bag, probably from Old High German malha wallet


  1. a type of flexible armour consisting of riveted metal rings or links
  2. the hard protective shell of such animals as the turtle and lobster
  1. (tr) to clothe or arm with mail
Derived Formsmail-less, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French maille mesh, from Latin macula spot


  1. archaic, mainly Scot a monetary payment, esp of rent or taxes

Word Origin

Old English māl terms, from Old Norse māl agreement


  1. Australian informal a rumour or report, esp a racing tip
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 mailer



"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.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper