• WordNet 3.6
    • v snail gather snails "We went snailing in the summer"
    • n snail freshwater or marine or terrestrial gastropod mollusk usually having an external enclosing spiral shell
    • n snail edible terrestrial snail usually served in the shell with a sauce of melted butter and garlic
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Man and two children talking to a snail Man and two children talking to a snail
Child and snail Child and snail

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Some desert snails have been known to sleep for three to four years
    • Snail (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.
    • Snail A tortoise; in ancient warfare, a movable roof or shed to protect besiegers; a testudo. "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 ."
    • Snail (Zoöl) Any gastropod having a general resemblance to the true snails, including fresh-water and marine species. See Pond snail, under Pond, and Sea snail.
    • Snail (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of terrestrial air-breathing gastropods belonging to the genus Helix and many allied genera of the family Helicidæ. They are abundant in nearly all parts of the world except the arctic regions, and feed almost entirely on vegetation; a land snail.
    • Snail Hence, a drone; a slow-moving person or thing.
    • Snail (Bot) The pod of the sanil clover.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: A snail can sleep for 3 years
    • n snail One of many small gastropods.
    • n snail Specifically— A member of the family Helicidæ in a broad sense; a terrestrial air-breathing mollusk with stalks on which the eyes are situated, and with a spiral or helicoid shell which has no lid or operculum, as the common garden-snail, Helix hortensis, or edible snail, H. pomatia. There are many hundred species, of numerous genera and several subfamilies. In the phrases below are noted some of the common British species which have vernacular names. See Helicidæ, and cuts under Gasteropoda and Pulmonata.
    • n snail A mollusk like the above, but shell-less or nearly so; a slug.
    • n snail An aquatic pulmonate gastropod with an operculate spiral shell, living in fresh water; a pond-snail or river-snail; a limneid. See Limnæidæ.
    • n snail A littoral or marine, not pulmonate, gastropod with a spiral shell like a snail's; a sea-snail, as a periwinkle or any member of the Littorinidæ; a salt-water snail.
    • n snail Hence A slow, lazy, stupid person.
    • n snail A tortoise.
    • n snail Milit., a protective shed, usually called tortoise or testudo.
    • n snail A spiral piece of machinery somewhat resembling a snail; specifically, the piece of metal forming part of the striking work of a clock. See cut under snail-wheel.
    • n snail In anatomy, the cochlea of the ear.
    • n snail plural Same as snail-clover.
    • n snail Helix fusca, a delicate species peculiar to the British Isles, found in bushy places.
    • n snail A snail-bore; an oystermen's name for various shells injurious to the beds, as the drills or borers, particularly of the geuera Urosalpinx and Natica. See snail-bore.
    • snail To move slowly or lazily, like a snail.
    • snail To give the form of a snail-shell to; make spirally winding.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are some species of snails that are venomous. Their venom can be fatal to humans
    • n Snail snāl a term for the species of terrestrial Gasteropoda which have well-formed spiral shells—the more typical snails belonging to the genus Helix, of the family Helicidæ, having the shell of many whorls, globose, depressed, or conical
    • ***


  • Charles Haddon Spurgeon
    “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”
  • Iris Murdoch
    “In philosophy if you aren't moving at a snail's pace you aren't moving at all.”


At a snail's pace - If something moves at a snail's pace, it moves very slowly.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. snaile, AS. snægel, snegel, snægl,; akin to G. schnecke, OHG. snecko, Dan. snegl, Icel. snigill,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. snegl, snægl; Ger. schnecke.


In literature:

D' ye think I'm a snail or a potato or an empty pair o' breeches?
"The Maid-At-Arms" by Robert W. Chambers
A fine banded snail, Helix incei, was the only landshell met with.
"Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade Archipelago, Etc. To Which Is Added The Account Of Mr. E.B. Kennedy's Expedition For The Exploration Of The Cape York Peninsula. By John Macgillivray, F.R.G.S. Naturalist To The Expedition. In Two Volumes. Volume 1." by John MacGillivray
We also discovered a great many snails, with very large shells of a greyish colour.
"Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by John MacGillivray
An ideal spring day lent its aid to the snailing cattle.
"Wells Brothers" by Andy Adams
Can't you move faster than a paralytic snail?
"The Air Trust" by George Allan England
The man who is exclusively a nationalist is a snail forever chained to his house.
"Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3" by Various
Wriggles like a snail under dispensation of salt.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 100, May 9, 1891" by Various
Evidently the head of the division was being piloted at a snail's pace by some one who did not feel sure of his ground.
"The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce" by Ambrose Bierce
I know this Magpie hoss well, an' it couldn't stand no more show of winnin' a race from Chiquita than a snail would.
"Ted Strong's Motor Car" by Edward C. Taylor
For half a century, it seemed to her, Marta had endured watching its snail pace.
"The Last Shot" by Frederick Palmer

In poetry:

And in the middle
Of this universal disgust
There it is —
The snail,
Loathing itself.
"The Snail" by Marin Sorescu
The snail’s covered up
Its eyes with wax, sunk
Its head on its chest,
And is staring into itself.
"The Snail" by Marin Sorescu
D was Papa's white Duck,
Who had a curly tail;
One day it ate a great fat frog,
Besides a leetle snail.
"Nonsense Alphabet" by Edward Lear
They cursed me: what was that to me
Who in that summer darkness furled,
With but an owl and snail to see,
Had blessed and conquered all the world?
"The World's Lover" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
My task might be jolly for snails,
But I must confess that it fails
To give pleasure to me;
I am sick as can be
Of snipping the ends of pink nails.
"The Discontented Manicure Scissors" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The months of sun went snailing by.
I wrote by every mail,
Yet ever came the same reply:
"Your patience must not fail.
But though your good lad will not die,
We cannot tell his ail."
"Breton Wife" by Robert W Service

In news:

No penalty for snail mail tax filings.
Fewer holiday cards make their way via snail mail .
MIT Project Helps Prisoners Blog From Jail Through Snail Mail .
Female Advisers See Progress at 'Snail's Pace'.
Snail's-pace shuttle moves across LA 5 hours late.
Russia's Arms Buildup Is Still Proceeding at a Snail's Pace.
Toxic cleanup at a snail's pace New technology ready to go, but is not being implemented.
'My Afternoons with Margueritte' review: French life at snail's pace.
Justice at a snail's pace.
Bristol new home construction improving at snail's pace.
Stylish Snail Mail is a Hit.
Think snail mail is too slow .
"Planet of Snail 's" opening scene sets its tone.
I don't know if you can really say snails are cute but he is very interesting looking.
In 1966, three snails of this species were brought into Florida by a boy after a trip to Hawaii.

In science:

Figure 2: Four important billiards: the Bunimovich stadium (top left), the Sinai billiard (top right), the Pascalian snail (bottom left) and the annular billiard (bottom right).
Lectures on random matrix theory and symmetric spaces
The only danger here might be snail (or tadpole3 ) diagrams; but Qgraf has an option to switch off the generation of those diagrams.
Methods for the Reduction of Three-Loop QCD Form Factors
This statement is true for any two- or higher-loop (one-particle-irreducible) vertex graph. 3A definition of tadpole and snail topologies is given in the Qgraf manual, see .
Methods for the Reduction of Three-Loop QCD Form Factors
Fig. 3.5 contains a snail that is not a tadpole.
Methods for the Reduction of Three-Loop QCD Form Factors
This particular diagram is harmless since Qgraf has a switch to turn off snail or tadpole diagrams.
Methods for the Reduction of Three-Loop QCD Form Factors