Definition of snail in English:


Syllabification: snail
Pronunciation: /snāl


  • 1A mollusk with a single spiral shell into which the whole body can be withdrawn.
    • Most orders in the class Gastropoda
    More example sentences
    • Large or small, landlubbers or seafarers or both, hermit crabs have one feature in common: they generally spend their lives inside the empty shells of snails or other mollusks.
    • As gardeners already know, all other slugs and snails (or gastropod mollusks, to the experts) sport a soft and slimy foot.
    • For most species of snails, shells and body plans curl in only one direction.
  • 1.1(In metaphorical use) any person or thing that moves exceedingly slowly: a tedious and complicated process enough to exasperate a snail
    More example sentences
    • The auto industry is a huge snail moving at its own slow pace day to day.
    • But to keep the audience guessing the snails are designed to slow down and give away their lead.
    • Okay, he's a snail. He has to hustle to keep up as the pair walk down the street.



More example sentences
  • It took Christian gently prodding me in the back to get me to move and by the time I got to Callia's room I was walking at a snaillike pace.
  • Located here is the cochlea, a snaillike structure full of fluid and microscopic hairs.
  • To a field emerging from the stultifying methodology of psychoanalysis in the 1970s, with its snaillike pace and verbal meanderings, Minuchin was a revelation.


Old English snæg(e)l, of Germanic origin; related to German Schnecke.

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a slit made by cutting with a saw