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mail1

[meyl] /meɪl/
noun
1.
letters, packages, etc., that are sent or delivered by means of the postal system:
Storms delayed delivery of the mail.
2.
a single collection of such letters, packages, etc., as sent or delivered:
to open one's mail; to find a bill in the mail; The mail for England was put on the noon plane.
3.
Also, mails. the system, usually operated or supervised by the national government, for sending or delivering letters, packages, etc.; postal system:
to buy clothes by mail.
4.
a train, boat, etc., as a carrier of postal matter.
5.
electronic mail; e-mail.
adjective
6.
of or pertaining to mail.
verb (used with object)
7.
to send by mail; place in a post office or mailbox for transmission.
8.
to transmit by electronic mail.
Idioms
9.
copy the mail, Citizens Band Radio Slang. to monitor or listen to a CB transmission.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English male (noun) < Old French malle < Germanic; compare Old High German mal(a)ha satchel, bag

mail2

[meyl] /meɪl/
noun
1.
flexible armor of interlinked rings.
2.
any flexible armor or covering, as one having a protective exterior of scales or small plates.
3.
Textiles. an oval piece of metal pierced with a hole through which the warp ends are threaded, serving as an eyelet on a heddle or especially on the harness cords of a Jacquard loom.
verb (used with object)
4.
to clothe or arm with mail.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English maille one of the rings of which armor was composed < Old French < Latin macula spot, one of the interstices in a net; cf. macula
Related forms
mailless, adjective

mail3

[meyl] /meɪl/
noun, Scot.
1.
monetary payment or tribute, especially rent or tax.
Also, maill.
Origin
before 1150; Middle English (north) mal(e), late Old English māl agreement < Old Norse māl agreement, speech, cognate with Old English mǣl speech
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mails

mail1

/meɪl/
noun
1.
Also called (esp Brit) post. letters, packages, etc, that are transported and delivered by the post office
2.
the postal system
3.
a single collection or delivery of mail
4.
a train, ship, or aircraft that carries mail
5.
short for electronic mail
6.
(modifier) of, involving, or used to convey mail: a mail train
verb (transitive)
7.
(mainly US & Canadian) to send by mail Usual Brit word post
8.
to contact (a person) by electronic mail
9.
to send (a message, document, etc) by electronic mail
Derived Forms
mailable, adjective
mailability, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French male bag, probably from Old High German malha wallet

mail2

/meɪl/
noun
1.
a type of flexible armour consisting of riveted metal rings or links
2.
the hard protective shell of such animals as the turtle and lobster
verb
3.
(transitive) to clothe or arm with mail
Derived Forms
mail-less, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French maille mesh, from Latin macula spot

mail3

/meɪl/
noun
1.
(archaic, mainly Scot) a monetary payment, esp of rent or taxes
Word Origin
Old English māl terms, from Old Norse māl agreement

mail4

/meɪl/
noun
1.
(Austral, informal) a rumour or report, esp a racing tip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mails

mail

n.

"post, letters," c.1200, "a traveling bag," from Old French male "wallet, bag, bundle," from Frankish *malha or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *malho- (cf. Old High German malaha "wallet, bag," Middle Dutch male "bag"), from PIE *molko- "skin, bag." Sense extension to "letters and parcels" (18c.) is via "bag full of letter" (1650s) or "person or vehicle who carries postal matter" (1650s). In 19c. England, mail was letters going abroad, while home dispatches were post. Sense of "personal batch of letters" is from 1844, originally American English.

"metal ring armor," c.1300, from Old French maille "link of mail, mesh of net," from Latin macula "mesh in a net," originally "spot, blemish," on notion that the gaps in a net or mesh looked like spots.

"rent, payment," from Old English mal (see blackmail (n.)).

v.

"send by post," 1828, American English, from mail (n.1). Related: Mailed; mailing; mailable. Mailing list attested from 1876.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for mails

mail

Related Terms

airmail, carry the mail, greenmail, junk mail


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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