snail

1 of 2

noun

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

snail

2 of 2

verb

snailed; snailing; snails

intransitive verb

: to move, act, or go slowly or lazily

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
When TikTok Shop first started, there was snail mucin, which is snail slime for your face. Lauren Goode Michael Calore, WIRED, 4 Apr. 2024 As for essences, formulations with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and snail mucin are especially helpful for people with dryness, according to Chang. Deanna Pai, Vogue, 13 Mar. 2024 The nature-forward visual — which Smith directed — begins with Smith and two friends strolling in a forest, where the singer finds, and discards, a snail shell before laying on her back in the leaves to begin her Tori Amos-like musings about the mysteries of the universe. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 13 Mar. 2024 The video opens with Willow and two of her friends walking through a forest before finding a snail shell and looking up at the sky. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 12 Mar. 2024 The snails live in the waterfall’s mist, but it's estimated that mere dozens remain. Jacqueline Keeler, Condé Nast Traveler, 24 Jan. 2024 Dillman’s team collected more than 2,000 snails, and published their findings in the journal Pathogens on March 13. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 19 Mar. 2024 The snails release schistosomiasis larvae, which can penetrate the skin of any human swimming or bathing in contaminated water and trigger all sorts of nasty health problems (including, rarely but often enough, death). Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 29 Feb. 2024 Federal wildlife officials have agreed to conduct a full, year-long review to determine whether a tiny snail found only in high-desert springs near a huge lithium mine being built along the Nevada-Oregon line should be listed as a threatened or endangered species. Scott Sonner, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024
Verb
Movement components reveal classical decoration, including Côtes de Genève, beveling, and snailing. Nancy Olson, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Could snail slime and salmon sperm be the next big things in skincare? Leslie Baumann, Miami Herald, 26 Jan. 2024 What can snail mucin do for your skin? Lacey Muinos, Health, 13 Feb. 2023 Davison and the scientists bred the lefty snails together, and over three years, nearly 15,000 eggs were hatched from four generations of snails, including Jeremy. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 2 June 2020 Cathy Jordan may die as this snails its way through the system. Dara Kam, Sun-Sentinel.com, 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, 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, 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, 5 Oct. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'snail.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1582, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near snail

Cite this Entry

“Snail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snail. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

snail

noun
ˈsnā(ə)l
1
: any of numerous small mollusks that are gastropods usually with a spiral shell and that include some living on land and others living in water
2
: a slow-moving person or thing

Medical Definition

snail

noun
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on snail

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!