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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
snail mail
▪ Similarly, insects and land snail shells are identified, sorted and quantified in the same way as animal and plant remains.
▪ And when I went to the museum on Gozo I discovered a block with a carved snail shell.
▪ Taken with other environmental indicators, such as land snail shells and insect remains, they also give information about the prevailing climate.
▪ Sometimes you can find a Zebra flatworm sharing the snail shell with the hermit crab.
▪ We need to accept only that the change in snail shell is a fluke adaptation.
▪ Caddis houses helped us take the previous step; snail shells will help us take this one.
▪ At different points along a trail the child sees snails-different snails each time.
▪ If insects, worms and snails could scream, would you still light that bonfire?
▪ Making a shell is costly for a snail.
▪ Some of these, such as most small snails and limpets, are quite harmless.
▪ The snails had vanished, but now some one seemingly had traced a picture of a butterfly in the dirt.
▪ Unfortunately, the snail spread across the island and caused widespread destruction to crops.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Snail \Snail\ (sn[=a]l), n. [OE. snaile, AS. sn[ae]gel, snegel, sn[ae]gl; akin to G. schnecke, OHG. snecko, Dan. snegl, Icel. snigill.]

  1. (Zo["o]l.)

    1. Any one of numerous species of terrestrial air-breathing gastropods belonging to the genus Helix and many allied genera of the family Helicid[ae]. They are abundant in nearly all parts of the world except the arctic regions, and feed almost entirely on vegetation; a land snail.

    2. Any gastropod having a general resemblance to the true snails, including fresh-water and marine species. See Pond snail, under Pond, and Sea snail.

  2. Hence, a drone; a slow-moving person or thing.

  3. (Mech.) A spiral cam, or a flat piece of metal of spirally curved outline, used for giving motion to, or changing the position of, another part, as the hammer tail of a striking clock.

  4. A tortoise; in ancient warfare, a movable roof or shed to protect besiegers; a testudo. [Obs.]

    They had also all manner of gynes [engines] . . . that needful is [in] taking or sieging of castle or of city, as snails, that was naught else but hollow pavises and targets, under the which men, when they fought, were heled [protected], . . . as the snail is in his house; therefore they cleped them snails.
    --Vegetius (Trans.).

  5. (Bot.) The pod of the sanil clover.

    Ear snail, Edible snail, Pond snail, etc. See under Ear, Edible, etc.

    Snail borer (Zo["o]l.), a boring univalve mollusk; a drill.

    Snail clover (Bot.), a cloverlike plant ( Medicago scuttellata, also, M. Helix); -- so named from its pods, which resemble the shells of snails; -- called also snail trefoil, snail medic, and beehive.

    Snail flower (Bot.), a leguminous plant ( Phaseolus Caracalla) having the keel of the carolla spirally coiled like a snail shell.

    Snail shell (Zo["o]l.), the shell of snail.

    Snail trefoil. (Bot.) See Snail clover, above.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

Old English snægl, from Proto-Germanic *snagila (cognates: Old Saxon snegil, Old Norse snigill, Danish snegl, Swedish snigel, Middle High German snegel, dialectal German Schnegel, Old High German snecko, German Schnecke "snail"), from *snog-, variant of PIE root *sneg- "to crawl, creep; creeping thing" (see snake (n.)). The word essentially is a diminutive form of Old English snaca "snake," which literally means "creeping thing." Also formerly used of slugs. Symbolic of slowness since at least c.1000; snail's pace is attested from c.1400.


n. Any of very many animals (either hermaphroditic or nonhermaphroditic), of the class ''Gastropoda'', having a coiled shell. vb. To move or travel very slowly

  1. n. freshwater or marine or terrestrial gastropod mollusk usually having an external enclosing spiral shell

  2. edible terrestrial snail usually served in the shell with a sauce of melted butter and garlic [syn: escargot]

  3. v. gather snails; "We went snailing in the summer"

Snail (disambiguation)

Snail is usually one of almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda which have coiled shells.

Snail may also refer to


Snail is a common name that is applied most often to land snails, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs.

However, the common name "snail" is also applied to most of the members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have a coiled shell that is large enough for the animal to retract completely into. When the word "snail" is used in this most general sense, it includes not just land snails but also thousands of species of sea snails and freshwater snails. Occasionally a few other molluscs that are not actually gastropods, such as the Monoplacophora, which superficially resemble small limpets, may also informally be referred to as "snails".

Snail-like animals that naturally lack a shell, or have only an internal shell, are mostly called slugs, and land snails that have only a very small shell (that they cannot retract into) are often called semi-slugs.

Snail (company)

Snail , or Suzhou Snail Digital Technology Co Ltd, is a video game company and a Virtual Network Operator headquartered in Suzhou, China, which has branches Snail Games and Snail Mobile. Its division, Snail USA, is responsible for bringing Snail Games products to audiences in North America and South America. With a focus on free-to-play online games, Snail Games acts as a developer and publisher of original IP across multiple genres and distribution channels, including massively multiplayer online (MMOs), real-time strategy (RTS), and casual games. Its global registered user base has reached over 70 million accounts, largely driven by its independent games portal The U.S. operation anticipates the launch of its portal for Western audiences in Q2 2011,, to further drive its efforts abroad.

Usage examples of "snail".

The mage had as much as said the amulet, the asphodel, and the raw snail were not enough by themselves to ward him fully.

All the while, Ozma had been using her wand to turn the Sharks into tiny snails, which Cubby picked up and put into a nearby pond.

II example: 1st, rope stitch with alternate fillings of darning and outline stitch, and 2nd, rows of outline stitch for one-half the back leaves and one-half grey knot stitch and blue snail trail in alternative, the end leaf being in rows of outline of brown colour.

According to a gipsy, the common English Snail is quite as good to be eaten, and quite as beneficial as an Apple Snail, but there is less of him.

Marcella and Victor called out the names of every fish in sight, about fifty in all: iridescent sardines and anchovies flashing silver and turquoise, flying fish with pointed beaks and snails creeping nowhere in their glossy spotted shells, tiny gray shrimp jumping like crickets and huge blue shrimp too stately to move, clams with shells bearing Navajo designs and scallops as small as aspirins, delicate flatfish for grilling or frying and bony striped fish for soup or risotto, diamond-shaped turbot and broad fans of skate, ink-stained cuttlefish, octopus, squid.

Leibnitz will show you that the architecture of the Louvre is less learned than that of a snail: the eternal geometer has unrolled his transcendent spirals on the shell of the mollusc that you, like the vulgar profane, know only seasoned with spinach and Dutch cheese.

Very much the same story as I conjectured for Nosema in the flour beetle and for the fluke in the snail.

Brandy spreads pot gloss across her top lip and then her bottom lip, blots her lips on a tissue, and drops the big Plumbago kiss into the snail shell toilet.

Oldcourt now, which was a pain in the arse as it meant either snailing back up through the poxy village or hitting the motorway and getting snarled up in the mile long tailback of traffic taking the Killarney Bridge exit.

One crawled like a snail, One like a wombat prowled obtuse and furry, One like a ratel tumbled hurry-scurry.

Alexei stood up when Rickey approached him with a snail in an ivory white shell.

Rounding out the lineup was the rest of our menagerie: two frogs, three goldfish, a hermit crab, a snail named Sluggy, and a box of live crickets for feeding the frogs.

One wet morning, when the weather was that in which the snails make their tracks, a melancholy time, and suitable to reverie, Blanche was in the house sitting in her chair in deep thought, because nothing produces more lively concoctions of the substantive essences, and no receipt, specific or philter is more penetrating, transpiercing or doubly transpiercing and titillating than the subtle warmth which simmers between the nap of the chair and a maiden sitting during certain weather.

Nobody except Bramble, who had now bounded on to the bed and with lightning rapidity gone to sleep like a black snail on the green eiderdown.

I got up and fetched the tins of cheese straws and marrons glaces from the kitchen, but not the snails.