QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Idioms for mail

    copy the mail, Citizens Band Radio Slang. to monitor or listen to a CB transmission.

Origin of mail

1
First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English noun mal(l)e, mail(e), maille “bag, pouch,” from Old French mal(l)e “peddler's basket, trunk, mail coach,” from Germanic; compare Old High German mal(a)ha “satchel, bag”; verb derivative of the noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH mail

mail , male

Definition for mail (2 of 3)

mail2
[ meyl ]
/ meɪl /

noun

flexible armor of interlinked rings.
any flexible armor or covering, as one having a protective exterior of scales or small plates.
Textiles. an oval piece of metal pierced with a hole through which the warp ends are threaded, serving as an eyelet on a heddle or especially on the harness cords of a Jacquard loom.

verb (used with object)

to clothe or arm with mail.

Origin of mail

2
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English maille, maill(e) “one of the rings of which armor was composed,” from Old French mail(l)e, male, from Latin macula “spot, one of the interstices in a net, a mesh”; cf. macula

OTHER WORDS FROM mail

mailless, adjective

Definition for mail (3 of 3)

mail3

or maill

[ meyl ]
/ meɪl /

noun Scot.

monetary payment or tribute, especially rent or tax.

Origin of mail

3
First recorded before 1150; Middle English mol(e), moul, male, late Old English māl “lawsuit, legal action, agreement,” from Old Norse māl “speech, stipulation, legal case, agreement,” cognate with Old English mǣl “speech, conversation” and mæthel “assembly, meeting”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for mail

British Dictionary definitions for mail (1 of 4)

mail1
/ (meɪl) /

noun

verb (tr)

Derived forms of mail

mailable, adjectivemailability, noun

Word Origin for mail

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

British Dictionary definitions for mail (2 of 4)

mail2
/ (meɪl) /

noun

a type of flexible armour consisting of riveted metal rings or links
the hard protective shell of such animals as the turtle and lobster

verb

(tr) to clothe or arm with mail

Derived forms of mail

mail-less, adjective

Word Origin for mail

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

British Dictionary definitions for mail (3 of 4)

mail3
/ (meɪl) /

noun

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

Word Origin for mail

Old English māl terms, from Old Norse māl agreement

British Dictionary definitions for mail (4 of 4)

mail4
/ (meɪl) /

noun

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