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 impact caused the car to roll over the guardrail and back into the westbound lanes, police said. Washington Post, "Police identify driver killed in crash on Dulles Access Road," 15 Sep. 2019 After crashing the bike, the operator, apparently not willing or prepared to answer any questions, jumped over a guardrail and ran into the woods. Mikala Kane,, "Good news this week: A local chef wins ‘Chopped,’ one town plans a permanent LGBTQ pride art installation and young children raise money for Camp Courant," 16 Aug. 2019 Later in the month, crews will install permanent safety signs and guardrails. oregonlive, "Portland metro Friday traffic: Rain extends I-5 paving project hours near Salem," 13 Sep. 2019 There was no protective guardrail or fence, not even a curb—just an unnerving, cliff-like drop. Dan Kois, The New Yorker, "How I Learned to Cycle Like a Dutchman," 13 Sep. 2019 Workers were instructed to clean the rock of all paint and apply anti-graffiti paint, reseal nearby pavement that had graffiti on it, repaint adjacent guardrails and put in fast-growing plants in front of the rock. Carol Cormaci, La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: Hikers see devastation up close as Station fire moves on," 9 Sep. 2019 As demonstrated in Newport Beach, which is planning a temporary homeless shelter, local zoning codes and preferences and state oversight form rigid guardrails along the path. Hillary Davis, Daily Pilot, "Land-use restrictions play into Newport Beach homeless shelter search," 8 Sep. 2019 Troyer yelled at the driver, whom police say identified himself as Jonathan Hipolito, to stop, and the vehicle then reversed and hit the guardrail. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis man suspected of drunken driving hit dump truck on I-65, police say," 26 Aug. 2019 Coroner Lina Evans said Williams lost control of his motorcycle, struck a guardrail and was ejected. Carol Robinson |, al, "‘He was very loved’: 32-year-old husband and father killed in I-65 motorcycle crash," 19 Aug. 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

3 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for guardrail

The first known use of guardrail was in 1860

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More Definitions for guardrail



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.

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 be made up of

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