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 Across the top, one of his signature cruise-ship-like locomotives travels between the mouths of two tunnels; below, railroad tracks descend the remaining length of the paper, between shoulders of radiating lines. New York Times, "Beyond Abstract Expressionism: MoMA Rethinks the Art of the 1950s," 7 May 2021 An officer cited a driver for speeding at 9:59 p.m. May 1 by the railroad tracks. cleveland, "Woman’s strange actions startle clerk: Olmsted Falls Police Blotter," 6 May 2021 There’s a beautiful path that winds across the railroad tracks and down to the waterfront, and there’s even a small beach with beautiful views of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Peninsula. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Seattle maintains its allure as a favorite destination for Alaskans," 1 May 2021 Dave Mills, a retired railroad worker whose home is separated from the plant’s waste storage site by about 1,000 feet of woods and a creek, has an air monitor in his driveway and worries what might come his way. Kris Maher, WSJ, "An Ohio Town Grapples With Tearing Down a Plant From the Cold War," 28 Apr. 2021 Madden’s husband, 72-year-old William Madden, was a retired railroad worker. Dallas News, "Flight attendant sues Southwest Airlines over husband’s COVID-19 death," 28 Apr. 2021 Her father, Joseph, was a railroad worker turned cotton-and-soybean farmer, and her mother, Mary Elizabeth, a homemaker. Susan Seubert, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Once-Classified Tale of Juanita Moody," 24 Feb. 2021 Fowler was a railroad worker in Tulsa and, at one point, a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Victor Luckerson, The New Yorker, "Living in the Age of the White Mob," 15 Jan. 2021 James Couzens, a former railroad worker who went on to serve as mayor of Detroit and senator from Michigan after working at Ford Motor Co. as vice president and general manager. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "She was 15-year-old smuggler in Detroit: How her family's shop became Woodbridge Tavern," 2 Jan. 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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Railroad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/railroad. Accessed 13 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

Comments on railroad

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