mail order

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an order for goods received or shipped through the mail.
the business of selling merchandise through the mail.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of mail order

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70

Definition for mail order (2 of 2)

[ meyl-awr-der ]
/ ˈmeɪlˌɔr dər /


pertaining to or obtained by mail order: a dozen mail-order rosebushes.

verb (used with object)

to order (merchandise) by mail: to mail-order fruitcakes for Christmas.

Origin of mail-order

First recorded in 1865–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for mail order

British Dictionary definitions for mail order

mail order


an order for merchandise sent by post
  1. a system of buying and selling merchandise through the post
  2. (as modifier)a mail-order firm
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