[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. mail-order house,
  2. mail-out,
  3. mailable,
  4. mailbag,
  5. mailboat,
  6. mailcatcher,
  7. mailcoach,
  8. maile,
  9. mailed,
  10. mailed fist

Origin of mailbox

First recorded in 1800–10; mail1 + box1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mailbox

British Dictionary definitions for mailbox


/ (ˈmeɪlˌbɒks) /


mainly US and 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 deliveredAlso called (in Britain and certain other countries): letter box
mainly US and Canadian a public box into which letters, etc, are put for collection and deliveryAlso 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

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