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

Working Dogs for Conservation has trained dogs to find spotted knapweed in Montana, Chinese bush clover in Iowa, yellow star thistle in Colorado, rosy wolf snails in Hawaii and brown tree snakes in Guam. Washington Post, "Wags and weeds: Invasive plants meet match in detection dogs," 24 Aug. 2019 Jon Sarriugarte, a blacksmith who lives across the street and built Schaaf’s fire-breathing snail, fears that the building will become another Ghost Ship. Sarah Ravani, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland shuttered artist warehouses after Ghost Ship. Cannabis may take the rest," 11 Aug. 2019 The larvae live in the ground and eat slugs and snails, which also makes them vulnerable to pesticides and weed killer used in lawn care. Dan Radel, USA TODAY, "Fireflies are dying out because people are destroying their habitats," 1 Aug. 2019 Brews highlighting the society's work to help Grauer’s gorillas, Panamanian golden frogs and Partula snails are also on tap. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Zoo, Griffin Claw team up with new beer to help endangered bird," 2 July 2019 Gabriella Mas decided to look for limpets, tiny marine snails that cling to intertidal rocks. Susan Shain, The Atlantic, "When Your Final Exam Is Surviving the Wilderness," 5 June 2019 Alabama is one of the most biodiverse states in the country, especially in terms of freshwater species of fish, crayfish, mussels and snails, many of which exist only in Alabama. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Alabama crayfish could be early victim of weakened endangered species protections," 15 Aug. 2019 Their diets are omnivorous but consist mostly of plant material, pond weed and algae, along with tadpoles, small fish, worms, snails and insects. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Water-loving coots are longtime familiar sights," 15 Aug. 2019 Huge numbers of the Olympias in Tomales Bay and San Francisco Bay are being devoured by voracious alien whelk snails, known as Atlantic oyster drills. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Oysters in peril as warming climate alters the water in their habitats," 8 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

2 Sep 2019

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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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