Definition of derail
- security problems derailed the tour
- divorce … can seriously derail an employee
- —Joanne Gordon
The train derailed in heavy snow.
The train was derailed by heavy snow.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'derail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use: 1850See Words from the same year
of a train : to leave its tracks
: to cause (a train) to leave its tracks
What made you want to look up derail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ