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

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Examples of railroad in a Sentence

Noun that railroad hasn't been used for passenger trains for decades Verb 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 railroad arrived in the 1880s, connecting Pine Bluff to Little Rock. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, "OPINION | REX NELSON: Pine Bluff rising," 15 Feb. 2021 In return, the railroad promised separate but equal rail cars. Dave Lieber, Dallas News, "One of Texas’ first Black lawyers asked to ‘give us a white man’s chance.’ Few remember John Johnson," 11 Feb. 2021 The railroad said revenue declined 4% to $2.57 billion in the period as volume slipped, which also beat Street forecasts. Josh Funk, Star Tribune, "Norfolk Southern 4Q profit up 1% even as railroad hauls less," 27 Jan. 2021 The railroad received $1 billion from the 2020 stimulus. New York Times, "In Rural Montana, a Hope That Biden Will Reopen the Rails," 24 Jan. 2021 Much like the railroad tycoons and telecom barons of yesteryear, modern day tech giants have amassed tremendous market share over vital levers of commerce — search engines, app stores and social media services, the report said. Brian Fung, CNN, "Congress' Big Tech investigation finds companies wield 'monopoly power'," 6 Oct. 2020 SpaceX is building the equivalent of a space railroad—a mass transit system that moves bulk goods for the lowest possible price per pound. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "SpaceX won’t be the only company launching commercial rockets in 2021," 21 Jan. 2021 The railroad industry has installed an automatic braking system on nearly 58,000 miles of track where it is required ahead of a yearend deadline, federal regulators said Tuesday. Josh Funk, USA TODAY, "Traveling by train just got safer: Rail industry installs automatic braking system to reduce human error," 30 Dec. 2020 The railroad industry has installed an automatic braking system on nearly 58,000 miles of track where it is required ahead of a yearend deadline, federal regulators said Tuesday. Josh Funk, ajc, "Major rail safety technology installed before deadline," 29 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This one is the story of a giant who got railroaded. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Sickening Power of Putin," 15 Jan. 2020 The American people, through this truncated debate, are being railroaded. NBC News, "Transcript: With the Gavel Comes the Power," 31 Oct. 2019 Shooter argued the investigation was an effort to railroad him from the chamber, rather than earnestly probe harassment at the Capitol. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Lobbyist recounts receiving explicit photos of Arizona lawmaker and her future husband," 5 Feb. 2020 Reschenthaler also accused Democrats on the committees investigating impeachment of railroading their Republican counterparts in the inquiry. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "5 things Republicans tried to change in the impeachment articles against Trump," 13 Dec. 2019 An Associated Press investigation into the 17-year-old case uncovered new evidence and myriad inconsistencies, raising questions about whether he was railroaded by police. Robin Mcdowell, USA TODAY, "Did Amy Klobuchar help send an innocent teen away for life?," 30 Jan. 2020 The Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (whose many credits include Going Clear and Sinatra: All or Nothing at All) tweaks a common documentary formula — little guy who gets railroaded. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Sickening Power of Putin," 15 Jan. 2020 The evidence that the young protégé of former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe was railroaded by his political opponents in the Colombian judiciary is overwhelming. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Drug War Deception," 23 June 2019 His efforts include trying to free an Alabama man, Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx), who's been railroaded by a system stacked against him. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Weekend," 27 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for railroad

Time Traveler

The first known use of railroad was in 1757

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Statistics for railroad

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Railroad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/railroad. Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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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