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 For the early Black residents of Evanston living in the area bound by the triangle of the canal, the Union Pacific railroad tracks and Church Street, their presence was not by chance. Genevieve Bookwalter, chicagotribune.com, "For residents of low-lying neighborhoods in Evanston and Chicago, more intense storms fueled by climate change raise flooding risks despite sewer improvements," 27 Apr. 2021 In northeast Minneapolis' arts district, a tall, lanky man with slate-colored, shoulder-length hair often wanders by the railroad tracks with his phone at arm's length, recording himself. Rachel Hutton, Star Tribune, "How a Twin Cities blogger made millions off clickbait and became Minnesota's TikTok star," 26 Apr. 2021 Her remains were found in a grave along railroad tracks behind a business where the man charged in her death had worked. NBC News, "Amish teen Linda Stoltzfoos was strangled and stabbed, coroner says," 24 Apr. 2021 Assembly Bill 248 in the Wisconsin Legislature would restore the ability for hunters, anglers and others to cross railroad tracks to reach public land. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A 'game changing' $1.4 billion wildlife reintroduced in Congress has its best chance of passing this time," 24 Apr. 2021 Video of the San Diego incident, released by MTS, shows two officers struggling with Hernandez on the railroad tracks just north of Santa Fe Depot. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "MTS, contractor to pay $5.5M to family of San Diego man who died in custody in 2019," 19 Apr. 2021 The 911 coordinate placed them approximately four miles north of Arethusa Falls in the vicinity of the railroad tracks, the press release said. BostonGlobe.com, "Two hikers from Massachusetts got lost in the White Mountains," 12 Apr. 2021 Also slated for resurfacing work are Hummel Road, from Fry Road to Shelby Drive, and Holland Road, from the railroad tracks to Michael Drive. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Long list of road repairs receives Brook Park council approval," 9 Apr. 2021 A few years ago, riding from one political event to another on a major thoroughfare in an African American neighborhood in his district, the car went over an unusually rough set of railroad tracks. Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Congressman Alcee Hastings, after career of triumph, calamity and comeback, dies at 84," 6 Apr. 2021 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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Railroad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/railroad. Accessed 7 May. 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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Comments on railroad

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