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

Michael Patris, 59, president of Golden West Books—a publisher of books on trains and railroads—on his 1920 Cadillac Model 59, as told to A.J. Baime. A.j. Baime, WSJ, "A Vintage Cadillac and the Remarkable Saga of the Lowe Family," 19 Mar. 2019 And then, eventually, convict leasing was eliminated because so many people, so many black people died through this convict leasing labor, terrible conditions working on the railroads and the mines. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "A mass incarceration expert says the 2018 prison strike could be “one of the largest the country has ever seen”," 22 Aug. 2018 Pop by Thunderbird Gifts at Minnetonka Resort to browse more than 2,000 collectible books, old copper mining and railroad memorabilia, and silver and turquoise jewelry. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Road Trip: 3 Days in Northern Michigan," 19 July 2018 The manufacturer pointed the two toward shipping lines and railroad and truck connections. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here’s how two 'ordinary' Milwaukee-area men created a unique, dual-wheeled bicycle. The next challenge? Trying to sell them.," 11 July 2018 Last June, as the subway was hurtling toward crisis, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Mr. Lhota to serve as chairman and chief executive of the transportation authority, which runs the city’s subways, buses and commuter railroads. New York Times, "After Ethics Warning, M.T.A. Chairman Gets O.K. for Outside Jobs in an Email," 28 June 2018 In the Spanish city of Toledo, Extol, a company that makes parts for the automobile and railroad industries, has recently seen customers demand supply contracts lasting no more than three months, rather than the usual one-year duration. Peter S. Goodman, BostonGlobe.com, "With a trade war possible, global economy already feels the effect," 16 June 2018 Without advanced navigation systems, pilots had to rely on terrestrial features—mountains, rivers, and railroads—to guide their way. Adam Cohen, Smithsonian, "Delivering the Mail Was Once One of the Riskiest Jobs in America," 18 May 2018 On the other side, small retailers and railroads railed against the idea that the government should get involved in delivering packages. Alana Semuels, The Atlantic, "Trump’s Complaints About Amazon Have a Historical Precedent," 29 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 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

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

14 Apr 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

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


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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