train wreck

variants: or less commonly trainwreck \ ˈtrān-​ˌrek How to pronounce train wreck (audio) \
plural train wrecks also trainwrecks

Definition of train wreck

1 : a violent and destructive crash involving a train
2 : an utter disaster or mess : a disastrous calamity or source of trouble Six months later, with Washington facing a political train wreck in Iraq, whom did it call? The United Nations.— Fareed Zakaria The train wreck that was Florence Ballard could not be hidden anymore. … Those shows went on without a hitch, but with Ballard progressively drinking harder, disaster awaited them as they trekked from Miami to play several college dates across the South.— Mark Ballard … to create what is termed on Capitol Hill a train wreck—a budget crisis so awful that the President would have to seriously negotiate, and yield on taxes.— Elizabeth Drew

Examples of train wreck in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web It was broadly agreed, in the wake of the Golden Globes and other recent fiascos, that, if a train wreck was to be avoided at Union Station, there had to be zero Zoom. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 26 Apr. 2021 But what’s clear is that, internally, the BPD is a train wreck., 23 May 2021 Just as millions of working families are only a paycheck away from disaster, families with complex wealth are only a few weeks or months of bad financial weather away from a train wreck. Scott Burns, Dallas News, 9 May 2021 Tragically, Ray Spencer died at age 29 due to injuries sustained during a train wreck on Aug. 23, 1917, while traveling with the team from Peoria, Illinois, to Fort Wayne, Indiana. David Buie,, 24 Apr. 2021 Not only was the unit a train wreck in 2020, but Detroit lost linebackers Jarrad Davis and Reggie Ragland, cornerback Daryl Roberts and safety Duron Harmon in free agency. Rob Reischel, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 The 2019 season was a train wreck, and in 2020, Beckham never got to benefit from Mayfield putting it all together midway through the season. cleveland, 2 Apr. 2021 Alexander’s track record at LSU was a dumpster fire on top of a train wreck. John Canzano, oregonlive, 23 Mar. 2021 The headline was itself a train wreck: six dully innocuous words piling up in front of a modifier more suitable to a 1950s horror comic than a sober, academic journal. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, 18 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'train wreck.' 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 train wreck

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of train wreck was in 1874

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Train wreck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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