rail·​road | \ˈrāl-ˌrōd, ˈrel-;ˈre-ˌrōd \

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

In 1902, a railroad connected the isolated area to industrial cities on the plain. Lucian Perkins, Smithsonian, "This French Town Has Welcomed Refugees for 400 Years," 27 June 2018 Kennecott's operation required construction of a 196-mile railroad through mountain canyons to Cordova. Tom Kizzia, Anchorage Daily News, "Amid the ruins of the Kennecott mine, a quiet new look at a unique slice of history," 26 June 2018 GE’s locomotive plant in Fort Worth will build 200 locomotives for a Canadian railroadGE Transportation is headquartered in Chicago, and has about 9,000 employees worldwide. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "GE gets yet another big order for railroad locomotives at its Fort Worth plant," 21 June 2018 One of the main tourist attractions, a historic scenic railroad that takes riders through the majestic San Juan Mountains in the forest, has suspended its service and furloughed its seasonal workers. Colleen Slevin, chicagotribune.com, "Extreme fire danger forces another national forest to close," 12 June 2018 One of the main tourist attractions, a historic scenic railroad that takes riders through the majestic San Juan Mountains in the forest, has suspended its service and furloughed its seasonal workers. CBS News, "Extreme fire danger forces rare shutdown of national forests in West," 12 June 2018 One of the main tourist attractions, a historic scenic railroad that takes riders through the majestic San Juan Mountains in the forest, has suspended its service and furloughed its seasonal workers. Colleen Slevin, The Christian Science Monitor, "To avert potential wildfires, officials across Southwest close national forests," 12 June 2018 Wolf Pecher, an associate professor at the University of Baltimore, leads Dan to the rare native plant, the purple-stemmed cliff brake, discovered growing in a railroad bridge abutment during a recent biodiversity survey in the Jones Falls Valley. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "What's growing in Baltimore: purple cliff brakes and 100 orchards," 11 June 2018 As a railroad, the Nickel Plate tracks, which stretch 37 miles from Tipton to 38th Street in Indianapolis, were little used. John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star, "Feds give go-ahead to Nickel Plate greenway in Hamilton County," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 But there are also concerns that the proposal is being railroaded through the approval process, with little thought about its impact on the reviving Riverside enclave or Penn Treaty Park. Inga Saffron, Philly.com, "Will a new riverfront concert venue close the gap between Fishtown and the Delaware - or widen it?," 28 June 2018 How, both ask, despite the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence, was Slater so obviously and badly railroaded? Sarah Weinman, The New Republic, "Arthur Conan Doyle, True Detective," 14 June 2018 Xiong, 37, of Milwaukee, violently crashed his minivan last summer, flying 100 feet in the air, and dropping another 30 from N. 76th St. to railroad tracks below, south of Brown Deer Road. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Driver gets prison for drunken crash that killed passenger after Milwaukee funeral," 17 May 2018 In each case, an out-of-control and/or politically motivated Justice Department had railroaded a conservative hero. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "A unified field theory of Donald Trump's pardons," 6 June 2018 Another thing: Animals know when humans like these judges are railroading them. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Animals Just Can’t Bear Life Without Copyrights," 26 Apr. 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

8 Dec 2018

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

: to convict (someone) of a crime unfairly

: to force (someone) into doing something quickly or without enough information


rail·​road | \ˈrāl-ˌrōd \

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

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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