Snail
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.) (a) 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. (b) Any gastropod having a general resemblance to the true snails, including fresh-water and marine species. See {Pond snail}, under {Pond}, and {Sea snail}. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, a drone; a slow-moving person or thing. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

4. A tortoise; in ancient warfare, a movable roof or shed to protect besiegers; a testudo. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

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.). [1913 Webster]

5. (Bot.) The pod of the sanil clover. [1913 Webster]

{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. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

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  • snail — snail; snail·er; snail·ery; snail·ish; snail·ish·ly; …   English syllables

  • snail — [sneıl] n [: Old English; Origin: snAgl] 1.) a small soft creature that moves very slowly and has a hard shell on its back 2.) at a snail s pace extremely slowly ▪ Traffic was moving at a snail s pace …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • snail — (n.) O.E. snægl, from P.Gmc. *snagilas (Cf. O.S. snegil, O.N. snigill, M.H.G. snegel, dialectal Ger. Schnegel, O.H.G. snecko, Ger. Schnecke snail ), from root *snag , *sneg to crawl (see SNAKE (Cf. snake) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • snail — [ sneıl ] noun count a small animal that has a soft body, no legs, and a hard shell on its back. Snails move very slowly. at a snail s pace very slowly …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • snail — ► NOUN ▪ a slow moving mollusc with a spiral shell into which the whole body can be withdrawn. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • snail — [snāl] n. [ME snaile < OE snægl, akin to Ger dial. schnägel, ON snigill < IE base * sneg , to creep > SNAKE, SNEAK] 1. any of a large number of slow moving gastropods living on land or in water and having a spiral protective shell: some… …   English World dictionary

  • Snail — For other uses, see Snail (disambiguation). For sea snails, see Sea snail. For slugs, see Slug. Helix pomatia, a species of land snail …   Wikipedia

  • snail — [[t]sne͟ɪl[/t]] snails 1) N COUNT A snail is a small animal with a long, soft body, no legs, and a spiral shaped shell. Snails move very slowly. 2) PHRASE: PHR after v (emphasis) If you say that someone does something at a snail s pace, you are… …   English dictionary

  • Snail —    1) Heb. homit, among the unclean creeping things (Lev. 11:30). This was probably the sand lizard, of which there are many species in the wilderness of Judea and the Sinai peninsula.    2) Heb. shablul (Ps. 58:8), the snail or slug proper.… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • snail — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ edible ▪ aquatic, land, marine, pond, sea, water SNAIL + NOUN ▪ she …   Collocations dictionary

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