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 central part is just north of Main Street to just north of the railroad tracks. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are the major road construction projects this summer in Germantown, Menomonee Falls and Sussex," 20 May 2020 To approach it, hikers often walk north along railroad tracks for 1.2 miles. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Mossbrae Falls, among Northern California’s most beautiful, may soon be safely accessible," 14 May 2020 Cieha’s black 2000 Toyota Solaris was found abandoned on railroad tracks at East Trapnell Road. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, "Father desperate for answers in disappearance of daughter Veronica Reyes-Diaz who vanished in January after dropping her kids off at home in Dover, Florida," 11 May 2020 Trespassing: Columbia Road Police stopped two people who were walking along the railroad tracks. cleveland, "Hot embers start dumpster fire: Olmsted Falls Police Blotter," 8 May 2020 Police eventually caught up to the car on Columbia Road, south of the railroad tracks, and stopped it for a moving traffic violation. cleveland, "Man wearing N95 mask attempts to break into car: Bay Village Police Blotter," 22 Apr. 2020 Firefighters and police responded to a fire Saturday night near railroad tracks north of mile marker 108, according to a tweet by the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office. Alicia Lee, CNN, "10,000 railroad ties set on fire in Colorado in suspected arson," 13 Apr. 2020 Last summer, a spontaneous protest along railroad tracks in eastern Kentucky captured national headlines. Mark Olalde, USA TODAY, "Climate Point: Nepal is melting, and Trump wants to mine the moon," 10 Apr. 2020 As the humid jumble of roaring motorcycles and bubble-tea shops vanishes behind me, knotted electrical wires make way for betel nut plantations and clotheslines in small-town backyards that straddle railroad tracks first built for loggers. Chris Schalkx, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Road Trip Through Taiwan's Hot Springs and Tea Plantations," 7 Feb. 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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Railroad.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/railroad. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for railroad


How to pronounce railroad (audio) How to pronounce railroad (audio)

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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