- 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
- 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.
- to clothe or arm with mail.
Origin of mail2
- monetary payment or tribute, especially rent or tax.
Origin of mail3
Related Wordsparcel, package, communication, letter, post, postcard, express, drop, dispatch, forward, transmit
Examples from the Web for mail
He said the video was “a promotional thing” that he received in the mail at his church office.Exposed: The Gay-Bashing Pastor’s Same-Sex Assault
December 21, 2014
I knew because I rifled through his mail that terrible October morning.I Was Gang Raped at a UVA Frat 30 Years Ago, and No One Did Anything
December 16, 2014
Hitchcock arrives about ten o'clock, reads his mail, and answers the few phone calls he gets.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
A Daily Mail writer, wearing a facsimile of the dress, said it was sculpted to her body, but not restrictively so.
Warne looked—in the words of the Daily Mail—“like a spooky waxwork.”
The mail, at this epoch, was very different from what it is at present.
I will go down by the mail train to-night; I cannot rest until he is found.Life in London
Cadge fancies, I suppose, that by any mail I may get a big check from home.The Bacillus of Beauty
I, who wear no armor, will go as far as any one with breastplate of mail.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
He wrote a reply early in the afternoon, and insisted on going to mail it himself.The Little Colonel
Annie Fellows Johnston
- 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 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.)).