from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of numerous aquatic or terrestrial mollusks of the class Gastropoda, typically having a spirally coiled shell, broad retractile foot, and distinct head.
- n. A slow-moving, lazy, or sluggish person.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of very many animals (either hermaphroditic or nonhermaphroditic), of the class Gastropoda, having a coiled shell.
- n. A slow person; a sluggard.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
- n. Any gastropod having a general resemblance to the true snails, including fresh-water and marine species. See Pond snail, under pond, and sea snail.
- n. Hence, a drone; a slow-moving person or thing.
- n. 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.
- n. A tortoise; in ancient warfare, a movable roof or shed to protect besiegers; a testudo.
- n. The pod of the sanil clover.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of many small gastropods.
- n. 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. A mollusk like the above, but shell-less or nearly so; a slug.
- n. An aquatic pulmonate gastropod with an operculate spiral shell, living in fresh water; a pond-snail or river-snail; a limneid. See Limnæidæ.
- n. 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. Hence A slow, lazy, stupid person.
- n. A tortoise.
- n. Milit., a protective shed, usually called tortoise or testudo.
- n. 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. In anatomy, the cochlea of the ear.
- n. plural Same as snail-clover.
- n. Helix fusca, a delicate species peculiar to the British Isles, found in bushy places.
- n. 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.
- To move slowly or lazily, like a snail.
- To give the form of a snail-shell to; make spirally winding.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. freshwater or marine or terrestrial gastropod mollusk usually having an external enclosing spiral shell
- v. gather snails
- n. edible terrestrial snail usually served in the shell with a sauce of melted butter and garlic
Middle English, from Old English snægl.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Middle English snegge, from the Old English snægel from the Proto-Germanic *snigilaz. (Wiktionary)