Dictionary

1rail

noun \ˈrāl\

Definition of RAIL

1
a :  a bar extending from one post or support to another and serving as a guard or barrier
b :  a structural member or support
2
a :  railing 1
b :  a light structure serving as a guard at the outer edge of a ship's deck
c :  a fence bounding a racetrack
3
a :  a bar of rolled steel forming a track for wheeled vehicles
b :  track
c :  railroad

Origin of RAIL

Middle English raile, from Anglo-French raille, reille bar, rule, from Latin regula straightedge, rule — more at rule
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Railroad Terms

cowcatcher, cupola, gauge, vestibule, yard

2rail

verb

Definition of RAIL

transitive verb
:  to provide with a railing :  fence

First Known Use of RAIL

14th century

3rail

noun
plural rail or rails

Definition of RAIL

:  any of numerous wading birds (family Rallidae, the rail family) that are of small or medium size and have short rounded wings, a short tail, and usually very long toes which enable them to run on the soft mud of marshes

Illustration of RAIL

Origin of RAIL

Middle English raile, from Middle French raalle
First Known Use: 15th century

4rail

verb

Definition of RAIL

intransitive verb
:  to revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language
rail·er noun

Origin of RAIL

Middle English, from Middle French railler to mock, probably from Old French reillier to growl, mutter, from Vulgar Latin *ragulare to bray, from Late Latin ragere to neigh
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of RAIL

scold, upbraid, berate, rail, revile, vituperate mean to reproach angrily and abusively. scold implies rebuking in irritation or ill temper justly or unjustly <angrily scolding the children>. upbraid implies censuring on definite and usually justifiable grounds <upbraided her assistants for poor research>. berate suggests prolonged and often abusive scolding <berated continually by an overbearing boss>. rail (at or against) stresses an unrestrained berating <railed loudly at their insolence>. revile implies a scurrilous, abusive attack prompted by anger or hatred <an alleged killer reviled in the press>. vituperate suggests a violent reviling <was vituperated for betraying his friends>.
RAIL Defined for Kids

1rail

noun \ˈrāl\

Definition of RAIL for Kids

1
:  a bar extending from one support to another and serving as a guard or barrier
2
:  a bar of steel forming a track for wheeled vehicles
3
:  railroad 1 <They travel across Canada by rail.>

2rail

verb
railedrail·ing

Definition of RAIL for Kids

:  to provide with a railing

3rail

noun

Definition of RAIL for Kids

:  a small or medium-sized wading bird related to the crane that has very long toes for walking on the soft mud of marshes

4rail

verb
railedrail·ing

Definition of RAIL for Kids

:  to scold or complain in harsh or bitter language <Students railed about a longer school year.>
June 30, 2015
disinformation Hear it
false information deliberately spread
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears