guard·​rail | \ ˈgärd-ˌrāl How to pronounce guardrail (audio) \

Definition of guardrail

: a railing guarding usually against danger especially : a barrier placed along the edge of a highway at dangerous points

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Synonyms for guardrail


balustrade, banister (also bannister), rail, railing

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Examples of guardrail in a Sentence

the car ran off the road, but fortunately only hit the guardrail

Recent Examples on the Web

The sofa also includes a ladder to the top bunk, with guardrails on the side of the mattress (so no one takes a tumble off the top). Maya Mcdowell, House Beautiful, "Every Apartment Needs A Sofa That Transforms Into A Bunk Bed," 28 Jan. 2019 Views are arranged through turnstiles, paths, guardrails, signs and walls. New York Times, "Take a Photo Here," 27 June 2018 All three got out and two jumped over a guardrail and ran down an embankment that leads into railroad tracks. Adam Ferrise,, "Trio pistol-whipped, tied up Cleveland teen," 15 May 2018 The suspect soon lost control of the car on an exit ramp and crashed head-on into a guardrail. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "Suspected DUI car thief dove into canal to try to escape police after wreck," 27 July 2018 All of this leaves Trump relying on his gut and without the guardrails that kept him in line during his first year. Philip Elliott, Time, "Why President Trump Fired Rex Tillerson," 13 Mar. 2018 The motorcycle hit the guardrail, causing the rider to go over it, a State Patrol trooper said. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Motorcyclist dies after hitting guardrail on I-5 ramp in Seattle," 30 Aug. 2018 When the patrol car began to pursue them, both bikers began to flee, with one continuing down the highway as Knab turned onto an exit ramp onto Transit Road in Depew, lost control and hit a guardrail, police said. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, "New York motorcyclist crashes and dies trying to outrun police," 3 Aug. 2018 The Constitution’s guardrails are especially important when passions are high and political mobs want heads on pikes. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Barr for the Presidency," 15 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guardrail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of guardrail

1860, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for guardrail

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for guardrail

The first known use of guardrail was in 1860

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English Language Learners Definition of guardrail

US : a strong metal bar along the side of a road that prevents vehicles from driving off the road
: a strong bar or fence that prevents people from falling off a deck, bridge, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on guardrail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guardrail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guardrail

Spanish Central: Translation of guardrail

Comments on guardrail

What made you want to look up guardrail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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