Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
Related to email: Email address


(Electronic-MAIL) The transmission of text messages from sender to recipient. Email messages can also be formatted with graphics like a brochure or Web page, an enhancement that many users like, but that creates more spam and a security risk (see HTML email).

Users can send a mail message to a single recipient or to multiple users. In addition, JPEG photos as well as any other type of computer file may be attached to the message (see email attachment). Mail is sent to a simulated mailbox in the organization's mail server until it is downloaded to the "in" mailbox in the user's computer.

The Messaging System and the Client
An email system requires a messaging system, which is primarily a store and forward capability based on the Internet's Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). A mail program (email client), such as Windows Mail, Mac Mail, Outlook and Eudora, provides the user interface for mailboxes and send and receive functions. Popular email services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail are Web based, in which case the Web browser is used as the mail program (see email interfaces).

The Internet Changed It All
The Internet revolutionized email by turning countless incompatible islands into one global system. Initially serving its own users, in the mid-1990s, the Internet began to act as a mail gateway between the major online services such as CompuServe and America Online (AOL). It then became "the" messaging system for the planet. In the U.S., Internet mail is measured in the trillions of messages each year. See email vs. fax, messaging system, instant messaging, read receipt and self-destructing email.

Could They Have Imagined Spam?
When they sent this first message in 1971, could they have imagined the trillions of email messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy,

The First Email on the Internet

In 1971, the first email message was typed into the Teletype terminal connected to the Digital Equipment PDP-10 toward the back of the room in the following picture. The message was transmitted via ARPAnet, the progenitor of the Internet, to the PDP-10 in front. Dan Murphy, a Digital engineer, took this photo in the Bolt, Beranek and Newman datacenter. See ARPAnet.

Could They Have Imagined Spam?
When they sent this first message in 1971, could they have imagined the trillions of email messages that would follow in years to come? (Image courtesy of Dan Murphy,
References in periodicals archive ?
51ST SIGNAL BATTALION--June 8-10, 2006, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Contact Tommy Thompson, Phone (817) 326-4773, Email tom@itexas.
Kenneth Seymour, Phone (352) 527-3206, Email eagle585@earthlink.
Placing the burden of reputation upon the email address domain owner benefits the administrator, as expensive complaints are directed elsewhere.
Most recipients are likely using an email application that displays the pretty-name rather than the actual email address.
Clinical email is ideal for simple and non-urgent problems, such as making appointments and managed care referrals, refilling prescriptions, and providing patient information.
Email messages can embed links to educational materials and other resources on the clinic's website or on external sites.
At one global biotechnology leader with nearly 5000 employees, network traffic has grown alarmingly high, and IT is tasked with getting a grip over email growth.
Yet email dialogues often take place that would be more appropriate if communicated via methods such as IBM Lotus Sametime, IBM Lotus QuickPlace or a Lotus Notes discussion database, rather than using email as a sole communication medium - particularly for large attachments.
Repsher, Phone (918) 650-0967 or (918) 650-5073, Email perepsher@sbcglobal.
DELTA COMPANY, 2ND BATTALION, 8TH CAVALRY (AIRBORNE), 1ST CALVALRY DIVISION (AIRMOBILE) VIETNAM--May 19-22, 2005, Las Vegas, Nevada, Contact Rich O'Brien, Phone (630) 941-8727, Email nchardobrien@msn.
Williams, president of consulting company Cohasset reported, "Not having any email retention policies inevitably will result in amassing vast volumes of communications that are costly to retain, even more expensive to search through in response to discovery requests, and may unwittingly supply information that is harmful to the organization if disclosed in response to discovery requests.
The challenge with political email is that it cannot be categorically described as "spam" since many of the recipients have opted in to receive such emails based on any number of legitimate factors, i.