snail

noun
\ ˈsnāl How to pronounce snail (audio) \

Definition of snail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a gastropod mollusk especially when having an external enclosing spiral shell
2 : a slow-moving or sluggish person or thing

snail

verb
snailed; snailing; snails

Definition of snail (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move, act, or go slowly or lazily

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Other Words from snail

Noun

snaillike \ ˈsnāl-​ˌlīk How to pronounce snaillike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for snail

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of snail in a Sentence

Noun go and tell the snails in the back to hurry up Verb the highway construction work created a bottleneck that had cars snailing for the next five miles
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the first quarter, only three fouls were called, but in the second quarter, game play slowed to a snail’s pace with 28 fouls called in the second period alone. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Coldspring-Oakhurst wins district battle, 80-75," 31 Jan. 2020 In some areas, there were so many people that the crowds moved at a snail’s pace and spilled into adjacent alleys. BostonGlobe.com, "HONG KONG — Hundreds of thousands of protesters, basking in a recent election victory by Hong Kong’s prodemocracy camp, poured onto the city’s streets Sunday in one of the largest marches in weeks to pressure the government to meet demands for greater civil liberties.," 9 Dec. 2019 In some areas, there were so many people that the crowds moved at a snail’s pace and spilled into adjacent alleys. Javier C. Hernández, New York Times, "Hong Kong Protest, Largest in Weeks, Stretches Several Miles," 7 Dec. 2019 Then again, the modern medical community still has not come around to Pliny’s treatment for ulcers, which includes salt and honey, butter, smashed snails and the ashes of a cremated dog’s head. New York Times, "Here Lies the Skull of Pliny the Elder, Maybe," 14 Feb. 2020 Protect Deter snails and slugs with food-grade diatomaceous earth. Thad Orr, Sunset Magazine, "Your Essential Winter Gardening To-Do List," 10 Feb. 2020 Octopuses, perhaps hunting snails and crabs, mobbed the scene. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "Living whales are worth an enormous amount of money," 4 Nov. 2019 Finally, both teams play at a snail’s pace; New York has the 21st fastest Pace and Charlotte is last. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "New York Knicks at Charlotte Hornets odds, picks and best bets," 28 Jan. 2020 In its first episodes, the show’s narrative arc begins establishing itself at a snail’s pace. Philippa Snow, The New Republic, "The New Pope’s Tireless Commitment to Transgression," 23 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Cathy Jordan may die as this snails its way through the system. Dara Kam, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Smokable medical pot case stays on hold," 3 July 2018 Cathy Jordan may die as this snails its way through the system. Dara Kam, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Smoking medical marijuana not allowed while legal fight continues," 3 July 2018 The investigators found that hungry caterpillars, which usually gorge on tomato leaves, had no appetite for them after the plants were exposed to snail slime and activated their chemical resistance. Erica Tennenhouse, Scientific American, "Plants “Eavesdrop” on Slimy Snails," 13 Apr. 2018 Payments for premiums still cannot be processed online - people have to snail-mail checks to a CGI processor in Nebraska. Lynnley Browning, Newsweek, "Doubling Down on Obamacare," 6 Feb. 2014 Ten minutes of the second half snailed by without anything more exciting happening than Ryan Bertrand missing a two-yard pass to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. SI.com, "England 1-0 Slovenia: Late Harry Kane Strike Sees England Qualify for World Cup 2018," 5 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of snail

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1582, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for snail

Noun

Middle English, from Old English snægl; akin to Old High German snecko snail, snahhan to creep

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Time Traveler for snail

Time Traveler

The first known use of snail was before the 12th century

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Statistics for snail

Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Snail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snail. Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for snail

snail

noun
How to pronounce snail (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of snail

: a small animal that lives in a shell that it carries on its back, that moves very slowly, and that can live in water or on land

snail

noun
\ ˈsnāl How to pronounce snail (audio) \

Kids Definition of snail

: a small slow-moving mollusk that has a spiral shell into which it can draw itself for safety and that can live either on land or in water

snail

noun
\ ˈsnā(ə)l How to pronounce snail (audio) \

Medical Definition of snail

: any of various gastropod mollusks and especially those having an external enclosing spiral shell including some which are important in medicine as intermediate hosts of trematodes

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More from Merriam-Webster on snail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snail

Spanish Central: Translation of snail

Nglish: Translation of snail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of snail for Arabic Speakers

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