snail

[sneyl]
See more synonyms for snail on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any mollusk of the class Gastropoda, having a spirally coiled shell and a ventral muscular foot on which it slowly glides about.
  2. a slow or lazy person; sluggard.
  3. Machinery. a cam having the form of a spiral.
  4. Midwestern and Western U.S. a sweet roll in spiral form, especially a cinnamon roll or piece of Danish pastry.

Origin of snail

before 900; Middle English snail, snayl(e), Old English snegel; cognate with Low German snagel, German (dial.) Schnegel
Related formssnail·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for snail

Contemporary Examples of snail

  • The Daily Pic: James Nares slows Manhattan's rat race to a snail's pace.

    The Daily Beast logo
    New York on Quaaludes

    Blake Gopnik

    April 23, 2013

Historical Examples of snail


British Dictionary definitions for snail

snail

noun
  1. any of numerous terrestrial or freshwater gastropod molluscs with a spirally coiled shell, esp any of the family Helicidae, such as Helix aspersa (garden snail)
  2. any other gastropod with a spirally coiled shell, such as a whelk
  3. a slow-moving or lazy person or animal
Derived Formssnail-like, adjective

Word Origin for snail

Old English snægl; related to Old Norse snigill, Old High German snecko
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 snail
n.

Old English snægl, from Proto-Germanic *snagila (cf. Old Saxon snegil, Old Norse snigill, Danish snegl, Swedish snigel, Middle High German snegel, dialectal German Schnegel, Old High German snecko, German Schnecke "snail"), from *snog-, variant of PIE root *sneg- "to crawl, creep; creeping thing" (see snake (n.)). The word essentially is a diminutive form of Old English snaca "snake," which literally means "creeping thing." Also formerly used of slugs. Symbolic of slowness since at least c.1000; snail's pace is attested from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper