: 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
Most chemical straighteners snap the ladder’s sulfur rungs, and the keratin fiber rails collapse; curly hair falls flat.—Syris Valentine, Scientific American, 14 Nov. 2023 The district encompasses an industrial cluster that includes two steel plants, an asphalt plant, a recycling depot, rail yards and assorted small factories.—Lydia Depillis, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2023 The sale, which must be booked by Nov. 15, is available for travel from Dec. 4 through March 15, 2024, according to the rail company.—Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 9 Nov. 2023 Hamas fighters have reportedly lined the tunnels with transport rails to move rockets to locations where they can be launched from firing pads concealed by trap doors.—Brian Glyn Williams, The Conversation, 8 Nov. 2023 Plus, in between the seven rail journeys, there are also longer stays in the best hotels in fascinating cities like London, Florence, Rome, Delhi, Istanbul, and Budapest.—Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, 2 Nov. 2023 North American rail traffic is down 3.5% for the first 43 weeks of the year, AAR says.—WSJ, 1 Nov. 2023 Part of the concern expressed is that accelerating a projectile along a rail at these speeds can cause serious erosion, which damages the weapon and limits its continued and future utility.—Kelsey D. Atherton, Popular Science, 1 Nov. 2023 Flights and rail services were disrupted throughout western Europe and some schools closed.—Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2023
String it over your mantle or wrap it around your staircase railing for an effortless upgrade.—Wendy Vazquez, Southern Living, 7 Nov. 2023 The tunnels have lighting, electricity, air conditioning, and in some areas rails to help transport goods, IDF spokesman Maj. Doron Spielman told the Washington Examiner last month.—Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, 2 Nov. 2023 The father of old-school nationalism is Roman Dmowski, an early-20th-century politician who, after railing for years against Jews and Germany, died in Drozdowo in 1939.—Andrew Higgins, New York Times, 29 Oct. 2023 The New Right coalesced as part of a backlash against the woke excesses of the recent past—but railing against wokeness is always faintly embarrassing.—Sam Kriss, Harper's Magazine, 16 Oct. 2023 Robin Williams‘ daughter Zelda took to Instagram (via Entertainment Weekly) to rail against AI recreations of her father, the legendary comedian who died in 2014.—Zack Sharf, Variety, 2 Oct. 2023 Speaker after speaker at the Prince George’s County Council meeting had just railed against the very business that Chante Goodwin, 35, hoped to launch as a Black woman intent on joining the green rush ushered in when Maryland legalized adult cannabis sales.—Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2023 This move might seem hypocritical to those who remember when Adams railed at Florida’s and Texas’ Republican governors for bussing migrants up to the north from the southern border.—Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 27 Oct. 2023 For decades, consumer advocates and watchdogs have railed against them, yet these products are readily available on the shelves of every major drug store.—Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 24 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rail.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English raile, from Anglo-French raille, reille bar, rule, from Latin regula straightedge, rule — more at rule
Middle English raile, from Middle French raalle
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
: any of various small wading birds related to the cranes
4 of 4verb
: to scold or complain in harsh or bitter language
Middle English raile "bar, rail," from early French raille, reille "bar, ruler," from Latin regula "straightedge, ruler," from regere "to lead straight, govern, rule" — related to regent, regulate, rule
Middle English raile "rail (the bird)," from early French raalie (same meaning)
Middle English railen "to scold, be abusive to," from early French railler "to mock," probably derived from Latin ragere "to neigh"