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

Three weeks before that, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to review a case presented by the Hays Street Bridge Restoration Group, challenging the city’s 2012 sale of a vacant 1.7-acre Cherry Street lot just northeast of the historic railroad bridge. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Court cases demonstrate Sculley’s disregard for process," 11 July 2018 The bridge was built as a railroad bridge in 1895, and decommissioned in the 1960s. Gabe Hauari, The Courier-Journal, "Outside Magazine loves our Waterfront Park. Here's why it's so awesome," 9 July 2018 That’s created a predicament for the owners of a 127-year-old railroad bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis that is in danger of being shut down if not replaced soon. Washington Post, "Trump’s own tariffs make it harder to rebuild infrastructure," 30 June 2018 Authorities were called to the area of Rural Street and Newton Avenue around 2 p.m. after a bucket truck hauling a wood chipper crashed into a railroad bridge, Indianapolis Fire Department engineer Jason Kistler said. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "8 children, 4 adults hurt in Indianapolis minivan crash," 25 June 2018 Running Wild With Bear Grylls Don Cheadle joins Bear in the mountains of New England, for adventures which includes crossing a raging river and a climb to a towering railroad bridge in this new episode of the celebrity adventure series. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "Monday's TV highlights: 'Dietland' on AMC," 18 June 2018 The last name of Bob Schwarz, an assistant division engineer with Amtrak, was misspelled as Schwartz in an article Monday about plans to replace a railroad bridge over the Hackensack River in New Jersey. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 4 June 2018 The victim's friends then lured him to an area beneath a railroad bridge in rural Livingston County, about 90 miles northeast of Kansas City. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Missouri teen faces life in prison for 'sudden passion' attack on friend, police say | The Kansas City Star," 11 Apr. 2018 Witnesses included representatives from Amtrak, freight railroad giant BNSF Railway and European rail agencies. Lori Aratani, Washington Post, "Amtrak says new focus on safety will make rail travel safer for all," 11 July 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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Phrases Related to railroad

railroad bridge

railroad crossing

Statistics for railroad

Last Updated

13 Oct 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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