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snail mail

noun, Facetious.
physical delivery of mail, as contrasted with email.
the letters, packages, etc., delivered this way.
Also called s-mail.
Origin of snail mail
1980-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for snail mail
  • Got two rejections today, one via snail mail and the other via email.
  • Most of the times, my emails have bounced back which means snail mail is the best way to post your applications.
  • One school even rejected me twice, early by email and then after the search was completed by snail mail.
  • Photos straight from the camera were ordered in minutes, and the prints came within a week via snail mail.
  • Instead, people who do not want to traipse to their local polling station must rely on snail mail.
  • So he is another believer in the eternal virtues of snail mail.
  • But some people argue that it is unnecessary, since e-mail easily outpaces even the fastest kind of snail mail.
  • Both the fall in snail mail, and simultaneous rise in e-commerce were easy to foresee, and plan for.
  • Many companies send coupons via snail mail or email to new customers simply for signing up or agreeing to receive their alerts.
  • Upon registering, members receive stickers from skateboard sponsors, via snail mail.
British Dictionary definitions for snail mail

snail mail

the conventional postal system, as opposed to electronic mail
(transitive) to send by the conventional postal system, rather than by electronic mail
Word Origin
C20: so named because of the relative slowness of the conventional postal system
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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snail mail in Culture

snail mail definition

A term used to denote mail sent via the traditional postal service, usually to contrast that process to e-mail.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for snail mail



To steal; appropriate; swipe: A streetwalker would have snaffled the lot (1725+)

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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snail mail in Technology
(Or "snailmail", "smail" from "US Mail" via "USnail"; "paper mail"). Bits of dead tree sent via the postal service as opposed to electronic mail. One's postal address is, correspondingly, a "snail (mail) address". There have even been parody USnail posters and stamps made.
The variant "paper-net" is a hackish way of referring to the postal service, comparing it to a very slow, low-reliability network. Sig blocks sometimes include a "Paper-Net:" header just before the sender's postal address; common variants of this are "Papernet" and "P-Net". Note that the standard netiquette guidelines discourage this practice as a waste of bandwidth, since netters are quite unlikely to casually use postal addresses and if they really wanted your snail mail address they could always ask for it by e-mail.
Compare voice-net, sneakernet, P-mail.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with snail mail

snail mail

Ordinary postal service, as opposed to electronic communications. For example, He hasn't taken to his computer so he's still using snail mail. This slangy idiom, alluding to the alleged slowness of the snail, caught on at least partly for its rhyme. [ 1980s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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