1

rail

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 and Etymology of rail

Middle English raile, from Anglo-French raille, reille bar, rule, from Latin regula straightedge, rule — more at rule

Other Railroad Terms


2

rail

verb

Definition of rail

transitive verb
: to provide with a railing : fence

First Known Use of rail

14th century


3

rail

noun

Definition of rail

plural rail or rails
: 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 and Etymology of rail

Middle English raile, from Middle French raalle


4

rail

verb

Definition of rail

intransitive verb
: to revile or scold in harsh, insolent, or abusive language

railer

noun

Origin and Etymology 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

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

1

rail

noun \ ˈrāl \

Definition of rail for Students

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.

2

rail

verb

Definition of rail for Students

railed; railing
: to provide with a railing

3

rail

noun

Definition of rail for Students

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

4

rail

verb

Definition of rail for Students

railed; railing
: to scold or complain in harsh or bitter language
  • Students railed about a longer school year.


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