rail·​road | \ ˈrāl-ˌrōd How to pronounce railroad (audio) , ˈrel-; ˈre-ˌrōd How to pronounce railroad (audio) \

Definition of railroad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a permanent road having a line of rails fixed to ties and laid on a roadbed and providing a track for cars or equipment drawn by locomotives or propelled by self-contained motors also : such a road and its assets constituting a single property


railroaded; railroading; railroads

Definition of railroad (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to convict with undue haste and by means of false charges or insufficient evidence
b : to push through hastily or without due consideration
2 : to transport by railroad

intransitive verb

: to work for a railroad company

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Other Words from railroad


railroader noun

Synonyms for railroad

Synonyms: Noun

rail, railway, road

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Examples of railroad in a Sentence


that railroad hasn't been used for passenger trains for decades


a controversial law that is being railroaded through Congress a bill that was railroaded into law They claim she was railroaded.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The cameras showed the front porch, the back of the house, as well as up and down the narrow street that runs alongside railroad tracks. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "How a 600-pound man ran a drug operation from the bed of Carthage home," 4 June 2019 Up a curving path with railroad tracks on their left and the barren slopes of Monte Cristo Rey on their right. Morgan Smith, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: I scouted the U.S.-Mexico border looking for dignity and leadership," 4 June 2019 Starting Monday, the special train passes will go on sale at all ticket windows and through the Ventra app, according to the commuter railroad. Mary Wisniewski, chicagotribune.com, "Metra to sell ride passes for Lollapalooza," 12 July 2018 Over the next couple of decades, the Baltimore and Ohio and dozens of other railroads would crisscross the country, carrying the Industrial Revolution out West and supercharging the American economy. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Trillions of dollars have sloshed into offshore tax havens. Here’s how to get it back," 20 Jan. 2018 Make sure your feet are not directly in front of each other (think railroad tracks, not tightrope wire). Engage your core and keep your hips tucked under (avoid arching your low back), and hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms at your sides. SELF, "Arms and Legs Strength Builder," 28 Apr. 2019 The Federal Railroad Administration requires that all railroads have PTC by the end of this year. Tim Zorn, Post-Tribune, "South Shore Line passengers may pay more for summer rides," 23 Mar. 2018 The temporary head of the Federal Railroad Administration resigned over the weekend because his job overseeing the railroads got in the way of his day job. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The Trains Are a Mess, and Now We Have a Clue Why," 12 Feb. 2018 The Federal Railroad Administration has ordered railroads to have the technology installed and operating by the end of this year. Patrick Mcgeehan, New York Times, "Failure to Screen for Sleep Apnea Led to 2 Recent Train Crashes," 6 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some miners and miners’ families echoed Mr. Blankenship’s charges that he had been railroaded. New York Times, "Don Blankenship Loses West Virginia Republican Primary for Senate," 8 May 2018 Big donors, including George Soros, accused Ms. Gillibrand of railroading Mr. Franken for her own political benefit. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Gillibrand’s Me-Too Moment," 17 Jan. 2019 In part, Sullivan seemed annoyed because Flynn’s lawyers used a recent sentencing memo not to signal remorse, but rather to imply that Flynn was railroaded. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Judge rakes Michael Flynn over the coals in sentencing hearing," 18 Dec. 2018 To have railroaded that through and not listened to the other three women and let his colleagues absolutely tear her apart was absolutely horrible. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Joe Biden apologizes again about Anita Hill during the Kavanaugh firestorm," 21 Sep. 2018 Yet again, Nunes seems to be not just raising concerns about the FISA application, but suggesting a key player — in this case, Papadopoulos — is being railroaded. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "6 tortured arguments Republicans are making about the Nunes memo," 5 Feb. 2018 Jesse Daniels was railroaded to the state mental hospital at Chattahoochee, a wrong that sprawled over 14 years, even though the victim said she had been raped by a black man. Hal Boedeker, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'Beneath a Ruthless Sun': Fearless women, bizarre injustice," 8 May 2018 The amendments were disclosed on the eve of the committee vote, and railroaded through without any time for debate. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "A revamped California net neutrality bill is moving forward again," 5 July 2018 Some Democrats argued that Franken had been railroaded and that the complaints should have been fully investigated. Li Zhou, Vox, "A pro-abortion rights group is asking candidates if they’ve been accused of sexual harassment," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'railroad.' 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 railroad


1757, in the meaning defined above


1829, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Statistics for railroad

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for railroad

The first known use of railroad was in 1757

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More Definitions for railroad



English Language Learners Definition of railroad

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a system of tracks on which trains travel
: a company that owns and operates trains



English Language Learners Definition of railroad (Entry 2 of 2)

: to force (something) to be officially approved or accepted without much discussion or thought
US : to convict (someone) of a crime unfairly
: to force (someone) into doing something quickly or without enough information


rail·​road | \ ˈrāl-ˌrōd How to pronounce railroad (audio) \

Kids Definition of railroad

1 : a permanent road that has parallel steel rails that make a track for train cars
2 : a company that owns and operates trains

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Comments on railroad

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standardized text or formulaic language

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