Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Materials, such as letters and packages, handled in a postal system.
  • n. Postal material for a specific person or organization.
  • n. Material processed for distribution from a post office at a specified time: the morning mail.
  • n. A system by which letters, packages, and other postal materials are transported. Used in the plural with the.
  • n. A vehicle by which mail is transported.
  • n. Mail or messages sent electronically; e-mail.
  • transitive v. To send by mail.
  • intransitive v. To send letters and other postal material by mail.
  • n. Flexible armor composed of small overlapping metal rings, loops of chain, or scales.
  • n. The protective covering of certain animals, as the shell of a turtle.
  • transitive v. To cover or armor with mail.
  • n. Scots Rent, payment, or tribute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. See mails.
  • v. to send (a letter or parcel) through the mail
  • n. armour consisting of metal rings or plates linked together.
  • n. A monetary payment or tribute.
  • n. Rent.
  • n. Tax.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A spot.
  • n. A small piece of money; especially, an English silver half-penny of the time of Henry V.
  • n. Rent; tribute.
  • n. A flexible fabric made of metal rings interlinked. It was used especially for defensive armor.
  • n. Hence generally, armor, or any defensive covering.
  • n. A contrivance of interlinked rings, for rubbing off the loose hemp on lines and white cordage.
  • n. Any hard protective covering of an animal, as the scales and plates of reptiles, shell of a lobster, etc.
  • n. A bag; a wallet.
  • n. The bag or bags with the letters, papers, or other matter contained therein, conveyed under public authority from one post office to another; the whole system of appliances used by government in the conveyance and delivery of mail matter.
  • n. That which comes in the mail; letters, etc., received through the post office.
  • n. A trunk, box, or bag, in which clothing, etc., may be carried.
  • transitive v. To arm with mail.
  • transitive v. To pinion.
  • transitive v. To deliver into the custody of the postoffice officials, or place in a government letter box, for transmission by mail; to post.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To spot or stain.
  • To put mail upon; dress in mail; by extension, to protect with armor of any kind (see mail, n., 4): hardly used except in the past participle. See mailed.
  • To pinion or fasten down, as the wings of a hawk.
  • To put in the mail; send by mail; put into the post-office for transmission by mail; post: as, to mail a letter.
  • n. A spot; especially, a spot or speck on a bird's feather; hence, a spotted or speckled feather.
  • n. In armor, a ring, link, or scale on a coat of mail. See def. 3.
  • n. A fabric of meshes, especially and almost exclusively of metal, used as a defense against weapons; a kind of armor, specifically called chain-mail, composed of rings of metal, interlinked as in a chain, but extended in width as well as in length. : ; ;
  • n. By extension, armor of any sort.
  • n.
  • n. Any defensive covering, as the shell of a lobster or a tortoise.
  • n. Nautical, a square utensil composed of rings interwoven like network, formerly used for rubbing off the loose hemp on lines and white cordage.
  • n. In weaving, a small metal eye or guide-ring in a heddle, through which the warp is threaded.
  • n. That part of a clasp which receives the spring.
  • n. A bag, sack, or other receptacle for the conveyance or keeping of small articles of personal property or merchandise, especially the clothing or other baggage of a traveler, the equipments of a soldier, etc.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. A bag for the conveyance of letters, papers, etc., particularly letters forwarded from one post-office to another under governmental authority and care; a mail-bag.
  • n. A mass or assemblage of mail-matter; collectively, the letters, papers, etc., conveyed by post; the matter sent in any way through the post-office.
  • n. The person by whom or the conveyance by which the mail is carried; hence, the system of transmission by public post; postal conveyance: as, to send a package by mail; news received through the mail.
  • n. A small coin of billon or silver current in France from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. It had half the value of the denier. Sometimes called obole.
  • n. Rent; hence, payment at a fixed rate, as the rent or annual payment formerly extorted by the border robbers. Compare blackmail.
  • n. A mall or mallet.
  • n. A French game similar to chicane.
  • n. A weight equal to about 105 pounds avoirdupois.
  • n. The breast feathers of a hawk when full grown.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the system whereby messages are transmitted via the post office
  • v. send via the postal service
  • n. (Middle Ages) flexible armor made of interlinked metal rings
  • n. the bags of letters and packages that are transported by the postal service
  • v. cause to be directed or transmitted to another place
  • n. a conveyance that transports the letters and packages that are conveyed by the postal system
  • n. any particular collection of letters or packages that is delivered

Etymologies

Middle English male, bag, from Old French, of Germanic origin.
Middle English, from Old French maile, from Latin macula, blemish, mesh.
Middle English mol, maile, from Old Norse māl, lawsuit.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman male, meole et al., Old French male ("bag, wallet"), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *malhō (“bag, pouch”), from Proto-Indo-European *molko- (“leather pouch”). Compare Dutch maal. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English maille ("mail armor"), from Old French maille ("loop, stich"), from Latin macula ("blemish, mesh"), probably from Proto-Indo-European *smh₁-tleh₂, from *smeh₁- (“smear, rub”). (Wiktionary)
Middle English mal, male from Old English māl ("speech, contract, agreement") from Old Norse mál ("agreement, speech, lawsuit"). Akin to Old English mæl ("mǣl"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Here's the mail
    Envelopes so pale
    Even a postcard can't fail
    To brighten my day in jail.
    MAIL

    December 17, 2009

  • Here's the mail
    It never fails
    It makes me wanna wag my tail
    When it comes I wanna wail,
    MAIL!

    December 17, 2009

  • "Gerges may be too kind. It is highly unlikely that Israeli and American officials -- or the media and other commentators -- do not appreciate these facts. Rather, they implicitly adopt the traditional perspective of those who monopolize means of violence: our mailed fist can crush any opposition, and if our furious assault has a heavy civilian toll, that's all to the good: perhaps the remnants will be properly educated."
    - Noam Chomsky, "Exterminate all the Brutes": Gaza 2009, chomsky.info, 19 Jan 2009.

    March 5, 2009