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.

Origin of mailbox

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

Related Words for mailbox

letterbox, postbox

Examples from the Web for mailbox

Contemporary Examples of mailbox

Historical Examples of mailbox

  • There he was observed opening a mailbox, and the name thereon was duly recorded.

    Ten From Infinity

    Paul W. Fairman

  • He'd checked the mailbox beside the front porch but there'd been no name.

    Ten From Infinity

    Paul W. Fairman

  • You didn't happen to notice whether the mailbox flag was up, did you?

    Highways in Hiding

    George Oliver Smith

  • Oscar's the one who actual put it in the mailbox and stole the stamp!

    Master of None

    Lloyd Neil Goble

  • He remembered the mail and raised the window and reached down into the mailbox.

    The Last Place on Earth

    James Judson Harmon

British Dictionary definitions for mailbox



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