Electronic mail

  • Electronic mail, commonly referred to as “e-mail” or “email,” is an electronic means for communicating information under specified conditions, generally in the form of text messages, through systems that will send, store, process, and receive information and in which messages are held in storage until the addressee accesses them.  1
  • A simple text message — a piece of text sent to a recipient. In the beginning and even today, e-mail messages tend to be short pieces of text, although the ability to add attachments now makes many e-mail messages quite long. Even with attachments, however, e-mail messages continue to be text messages.  2
  • The whole of an electronic document containing the message envelope and message content (attachments, etc.).  3
  • Electronic mail, or computer-based mail.  4  5
  • Any data set or group of files originating from mail containers or e-mail systems. This includes single-mail items outside of their mail applications, like MSG (Outlook) and EML files (RFC822 single mail containers), RFC822 mail folders as well as multi-mail archives (PST, NSF, etc.).  6


  1. Merrill Corporation, Electronic Discovery Glossary.
  2. Fenwick & West LLP, FWPS eDiscovery Terminology (11/6/2005). Citing How Stuff Works, http://computer.howstuffworks.com/email.htm/printable.
  3. RenewData, Glossary (10/5/2005).
  4. Fios, E-Discovery Glossaryhttp://discoveryresources.org/01_electronic_discovery_glossary.html 
  5. RSI, Glossary.
  6. Ibis Consulting, Glossary.
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