snail mail


noun Facetious.

physical delivery of mail, as contrasted with email.
the letters, packages, etc., delivered this way.

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Also called s-mail.

Origin of snail mail

First recorded in 1980–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for snail mail

snail mail
/ informal /

noun

the conventional postal system, as opposed to electronic mail

verb snail-mail

(tr) to send by the conventional postal system, rather than by electronic mail

Word Origin for snail mail

C20: so named because of the relative slowness of the conventional postal system
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

Cultural definitions for snail mail

snail mail

A term used to denote mail sent via the traditional postal service, usually to contrast that process to e-mail.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with snail mail

snail mail

Ordinary postal service, as opposed to electronic communications. For example, He hasn't taken to his computer so he's still using snail mail. This slangy idiom, alluding to the alleged slowness of the snail, caught on at least partly for its rhyme. [1980s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.