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

crawler, dallier, dawdler, dragger, laggard, lagger, lingerer, loiterer, plodder, slowpoke, straggler

Synonyms: Verb

crawl, creak (along), creep, drag, inch, limp, nose, ooze, plod, poke, slouch

Antonyms: Noun

speedster

Antonyms: Verb

fly, race, speed, whiz (or whizz), zip

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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

For the snail-averse, bee-venom masks offer an appealing alternative. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "What Snail Mucus Says About Beauty Trends," 26 Dec. 2018 Their blunt snouts and flexible jaws are specially adapted for shoving into shells and sucking out snails. Alejandro Arteaga, National Geographic, "These 5 New Snake Species Suck Snails Out of Their Shells," 14 June 2018 Inevitably, some of the gummy residue will be left behind like a snail trail or, even worse, the separation will cause the delicate paper to tear. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Tape-Removing Gel May Be a Game Changer for Art Restoration," 24 May 2018 Glanzman says neurobiologists have been studying the machinations of snail brains for decades. Aj Willingham, CNN, "Scientists have transplanted memory from one snail to another. So, what does it mean for humans?," 17 May 2018 Curtis Stone and his team visited a snail farm during their trip to Burgundy. Jean Trinh, Los Angeles Magazine, "An Inside Look at the Trip to France That Inspired Maude’s Newest Menu," 10 Apr. 2018 The children also designed a mosaic mural for a peace garden at 20th and Norris, along with a matching massive bench and a table shaped like a snail where neighbors can gather and picnic. Claudia Vargas, Philly.com, "Will city Land Bank save North Philly nuns' community garden?," 2 Apr. 2018 The creature appeared to have been dead for years, but the bones and their surroundings teemed with life—wriggling worms, centimeter-size clams, little snails and limpets, and patches of white microbial mats. Crispin T. S. Little, Scientific American, "Life at the Bottom: The Prolific Afterlife of Whales," 23 May 2017 In damp climates, organic mulches can harbor slugs and snails, which will munch on nearby plants; don't spread mulch near slug-susceptible plants. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "What Every Gardener Should Know About Mulching," 28 Feb. 2017

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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Statistics for snail

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snail

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

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More Definitions for snail

snail

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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