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 Rockfish are the official fish, the diamondback terrapin is the state reptile, and the shell of an extinct snail called the ecphora gardnerae that inhabited the Chesapeake Bay five to 12 million years ago was named the state fossil shell in 1984. Lois Szymanski, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Szymanski: From blue crabs to sailing to black-eyed Susans, so many reasons to love Maryland," 4 Oct. 2019 Simpson and other divers tend to this underwater nursery as gardeners mind a flower bed — slowly and painstakingly plucking off snails and fireworms that feast on immature coral. Cristina Larson, Washington Post, "Coral gardeners slowly restore Jamaica’s ‘forest under the sea’," 1 Oct. 2019 In a large circular chamber covered in periwinkle blue velvet and hung with curtains all around, seats curling outward in snail shell tiers, Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga convened his parliament. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Blood, Money, Oil. And Clothes.," 30 Sep. 2019 Simpson and other divers tend to this underwater nursery as gardeners mind a flower bed — slowly and painstakingly plucking off snails and fireworms that feast on immature coral. Christina Larson, The Denver Post, "Coral gardeners bring back Jamaica’s reefs, piece by piece," 18 Sep. 2019 Simpson and other divers tend to this underwater nursery as gardeners mind a flower bed — slowly and painstakingly plucking off snails and fireworms that feast on immature coral. Christina Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Coral gardeners bring back Jamaica’s reefs, piece by piece," 17 Sep. 2019 Spirals are everywhere, from the tiniest fragile snail shells to the vast arcs of the cosmos. Wired, "Space Photos of the Week: Hurricane Dorian and Other Spirals," 7 Sep. 2019 Take time to visit the quirky but spectacular snail shell collection at the Museum Gloria Maris. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "Venice is flooded with tourists—visit these floating cities instead," 16 May 2019 Imbler reports that the Loas are being fed a steady diet of snails and invertebrates, supplemented with vitamins. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The Last 14 Loa Water Frogs Had to Be Rescued From Their Natural Habitat," 31 Aug. 2019 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

11 Nov 2019

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
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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