Simple Definition of derail
of a train : to leave its tracks
: to cause (a train) to leave its tracks
Full Definition of derail
1 : to cause to run off the rails
2 a : to obstruct the progress of : frustrate <security problems derailed the tour> b : to upset the stability or composure of <divorce … can seriously derail an employee — Joanne Gordon>
: to leave the rails
Examples of derail in a sentence
The train derailed in heavy snow.
The train was derailed by heavy snow.
Origin of derail
French dérailler to throw off the track, from dé- de- + rail, from English
First Known Use: 1850
Rhymes with derail
abseil, airmail, all hail, assail, avail, bake sale, bangtail, blackmail, blacktail, bobtail, broadscale, broadtail, bucktail, bud scale, canaille, cattail, chain mail, coattail, cocktail, contrail, curtail, detail, doornail, dovetail, downscale, ducktail, e-mail, entail, exhale, fan mail, fantail, female, fife rail, fire sale, fishtail, folktale, foresail, foxtail, fresh gale, full-scale, gapped scale, Glendale, gray scale, greenmail, guardrail, Hallel, handrail, hangnail, headsail, hightail, hobnail, horntail, horsetail, impale, inhale, junk mail, Longueuil, lugsail, mainsail, mare's tail, Mondale, moon snail, oxtail, pass-fail, percale, pigtail, pintail, pinwale, plate rail, pot ale, prevail, rattail, regale, resale, rescale, retail, right whale, ringtail, Sangreal, Scottsdale, sea kale, shavetail, shirttail, skysail, slop pail, small-scale, snail mail, soft hail, split rail, springtail, spritsail, square sail, staysail, strong gale, surveil, swordtail, taffrail, tag sale, telltale, third rail, thumbnail, timescale, toenail, topsail, travail, trysail, unnail, unveil, upscale, ventail, voice mail, wage scale, wagtail, wassail, whiptail, white sale, whitetail, white whale, whole gale, wholesale, yard sale
DERAIL Defined for Kids
Definition of derail for Students
1 : to leave or cause to leave the rails <The train derailed.>
2 : to make progress or success difficult for <Injuries derailed his plan for a championship.>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up derail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).