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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Algae that clings to the bottom of sea ice blooms in spring, dies and sinks, sending an infusion of food to clams, snails and sea worms on the ocean floor — the prey of gray whales, walruses and bearded seals. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Pace of Bering Sea changes startles scientists," 16 Apr. 2019 Saotomean delicacies, such as sea snails and omelets packed with smoked fish, can be enjoyed at the Museu Almada Negreiros, near Monte Café, about 25-minute drive inland from São Tomé city (239-991-61-72, casamuseu.almadanegreiros@gmail.com). Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Fantasized About Being a Castaway? Check Out This Island Holiday," 18 Dec. 2018 Some species of fireflies lay their eggs in rotten logs and other brush on the forest floor, and the larvae feast on the slugs, snails, and worms that this type of damp habitat attracts. Rebecca Straus, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Attract Fireflies to Your Yard," 19 July 2018 And in the beauty world, many of the hottest skin-care ingredients (snail mucus, bee venom) sound like they’ve been formulated in a steaming cauldron instead a lab. Harper's BAZAAR, "The Modern Woman Is Embracing Her Inner Witch," 12 Nov. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about snail

Statistics for snail

Last Updated

29 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for snail

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on snail

What made you want to look up snail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

using a distributed computer network

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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