from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To put in the mail; send by mail; put into the post-office for transmission by mail; post: as, to mail a letter.
  • noun A mall or mallet.
  • noun A French game similar to chicane.
  • noun A weight equal to about 105 pounds avoirdupois.
  • noun The breast feathers of a hawk when full grown.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Specifically
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A spot; especially, a spot or speck on a bird's feather; hence, a spotted or speckled feather.
  • noun In armor, a ring, link, or scale on a coat of mail. See def. 3.
  • noun 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. : ; ;
  • noun By extension, armor of any sort.
  • noun Any defensive covering, as the shell of a lobster or a tortoise.
  • noun Nautical, a square utensil composed of rings interwoven like network, formerly used for rubbing off the loose hemp on lines and white cordage.
  • noun In weaving, a small metal eye or guide-ring in a heddle, through which the warp is threaded.
  • noun That part of a clasp which receives the spring.
  • 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Rent; hence, payment at a fixed rate, as the rent or annual payment formerly extorted by the border robbers. Compare blackmail.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To arm with mail.
  • transitive verb obsolete To pinion.
  • transitive verb United States To deliver into the custody of the postoffice officials, or place in a government letter box, for transmission by mail; to post.
  • noun A flexible fabric made of metal rings interlinked. It was used especially for defensive armor.
  • noun See under Chain, and Coat.
  • noun Hence generally, armor, or any defensive covering.
  • noun (Naut.) A contrivance of interlinked rings, for rubbing off the loose hemp on lines and white cordage.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any hard protective covering of an animal, as the scales and plates of reptiles, shell of a lobster, etc.
  • noun obsolete A small piece of money; especially, an English silver half-penny of the time of Henry V.
  • noun Obs., except in certain compounds and phrases, as blackmail, mails and duties, etc. Rent; tribute.
  • noun (Scots Law) the rents of an estate, in whatever form paid.


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

[Middle English, from Old French maile, from Latin macula, blemish, mesh.]

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

[Middle English mol, maile, from Old Norse māl, lawsuit.]

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

[Middle English male, bag, from Old French, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English mal, male from Old English māl ("speech, contract, agreement") from Old Norse mál ("agreement, speech, lawsuit"). Akin to Old English mæl ("mǣl").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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”).



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  • "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,, 19 Jan 2009.

    March 5, 2009

  • Here's the mail

    It never fails

    It makes me wanna wag my tail

    When it comes I wanna wail,


    December 17, 2009

  • Here's the mail

    Envelopes so pale

    Even a postcard can't fail

    To brighten my day in jail.


    December 17, 2009