Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to mail: Yahoo Mail
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

carry the mail (for someone)

To work assiduously, especially in a central role of some difficult or demanding task. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. With their captain out with an injury, it's up to their young star player to carry the mail for the team in this game. The boss carried the mail himself to make sure this project was completed on time.
See also: carry, mail

the check is in the mail

Payment (whether or not in the form of a check) is en route or will be sent shortly. Often used as an excuse to avoid the pressure of creditors or someone expecting payment. Primarily heard in US. A: "Mr. Smith, your mortgage payment is now two months overdue." B: "The check's in the mail, I promise you!" A: "Can you lend me $40 until I get paid next week?" B: "Sure thing, the check's in the mail."
See also: check, mail

cheque is in the mail

Payment (whether or not in the form of a cheque) is en route or will be sent shortly. Often used as an excuse to avoid the pressure of creditors or someone expecting payment for goods or services. Primarily heard in UK, Canada. A: "Mr. Smith, your mortgage payment is now two months overdue." B: "The cheque's in the mail, I promise you!" A: "Can you lend me $40 until I get paid next week?" B: "Sure thing, the cheque's in the mail."
See also: cheque, mail

mail (something) in

1. Literally, to send something somewhere or to someone by mail. I mailed in the application months ago, but I still haven't heard from the university!
2. To perform a given task, duty, or activity with little or no attention, effort, or interest; to do something perfunctorily. Usually such a key player on the field, the team's star running back seems to be mailing it in this afternoon. I usually love his work in film, but he totally mailed in his performance for this voice-over role.
See also: mail

by return mail

Through mail correspondence back to the sender. Please indicate your interest in this offer by return mail.
See also: by, mail, return

snail mail

Paper mail sent through the postal service (as opposed to email). Snails are thought of as very slow. A: "Did we get any exciting snail mail today?" B: "Nah, just some bills." Wait, you sent the invitations snail mail? Why didn't you just do e-vites?
See also: mail, snail

by return mail and by return post

by a subsequent mailing (back to the sender). (A phrase indicating that an answer is expected very soon, by mail.) Since this bill is overdue, would you kindly send us your check by return mail? I answered your request by return post over a year ago. Please check your records.
See also: and, by, mail, post, return

junk mail

annoying, unsolicited mail, such as promotional letters, etc. I am so incredibly tired of getting pound after pound of junk mail every day. I could just scream.
See also: junk, mail

mail something from some place

to send something by mail from a particular place. I mailed the check from my office. I will mail it from the main post office.
See also: mail, place

mail something to someone

to send something to someone by mail. I mailed the check to you yesterday. I mailed a gift to my niece.
See also: mail

junk mail

Third-class mail, such as unsolicited advertisements and flyers, that is sent indiscriminately. For example, While we were on vacation the front hall filled up with junk mail. [c. 1950]
See also: junk, mail

snail mail

Ordinary postal service, as opposed to electronic communications. For example, He hasn't taken to his computer so he's still using snail mail. This slangy idiom, alluding to the alleged slowness of the snail, caught on at least partly for its rhyme. [1980s]
See also: mail, snail

ˈsnail mail

(informal, humorous) used especially by people who use email on computers to describe the system of sending letters by ordinary mail: I’d love to hear from you, either by email or snail mail.
See also: mail, snail


n. prayer. (A message delivered on one’s knees.) You’d better be sending some knee-mail on this problem.


n. money. The bills are due. I need some mail.


n. post office mail; regular mail as opposed to electronic mail. (Refers to the slowness of regular mail in comparison to electronic mail or faxes.) There are lots of color pictures in the article, so I will send you the original by snail-mail.
References in periodicals archive ?
Smeraldi, however, said the latest report on operations since Saturday shows no delays at the Los Angeles office for either first-class or priority mail.
Samples were also obtained from trash receptacles, items removed from the building, and the company mail van.
The Friday Report reports, "The DMA stresses that commercial mail is carefully accounted for and often goes from production sources to delivery units, bypassing postal sorting locations.
You should mail to them periodically; you never know when they may need to use your services, especially for special projects.
Home Office Voice Mail also keeps caller records including contact information (when used with Caller ID), date and time stamp and personal notes for each phone call.
Your facility's marketing strategy determines the scope of your direct mail recipients and frequency of mailings.
Mail deliveries frequently were late or were skipped; many carriers lost mail, failed to deliver it, or didn't forward it for weeks or months.
I'm probably guilty because I do a lot of shopping by mail," she admits.
Using voice mail in this manner is one method to institute the concept of JIT (just in time) information.
With mail processing costs rising, and with the need to encourage
The Better Business Bureau advises that seniors and their family members become better informed about the companies making the solicitations, and if they want to dispose of unwanted mail, invest in a shredder to eliminate the possibility of personal information being obtained by someone going through the trash.
The Revenue Act of 1926 changed the language to its present form, authorizing the IRS to use registered mail (certified mail was added in 1958).
The easiest and simplest solution to the telephone shuffle is voice mail," says Michael Clark, president of Richmond-based VOICE MAIL USA, which markets voice mail systems nationwide.
And every square foot of the walls, up to eye level, is covered with mail.
The WJ PRO offers fast, continuous mail processing for the entire production mail operation, combining the latest metering technologies and state-of-the-art serviceability.