train wreck

noun

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

Although there is no evidence that either engineer was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a pair of recent Amtrak train wrecks in South Carolina and Washington state have increased scrutiny of commercial transportation. Washington Post, "Failed federal drug tests among transportation workers soar by 77 percent amid opioid epidemic," 7 Feb. 2018 The BerryDunn report painted VermontHealthConnect as a slow-motion train wreck, but Larson was confident. Lynnley Browning, Newsweek, "Doubling Down on Obamacare," 6 Feb. 2014 Like the time in Lake Tahoe where the atmosphere was like a train wreck — people talking, TV blaring. Cindy Atoji Keene, BostonGlobe.com, "This speaking coach will help you get rid of the hitch in your pitch," 23 June 2018 This is not Markle’s first train wreck of a pass through the press. Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Meghan Markle’s Dad Claims Prince Harry Told Him to ‘Give Donald Trump a Chance’," 18 June 2018 Earlier this year, Burbey touched off a controversy with a negative social media post about Republicans after several GOP members of Congress were injured in a train wreck on their way to a conference. Allan Vought, The Aegis, "Moving back to classroom, Harford teachers union leader steps down," 6 July 2018 Here’s something that few would have predicted last summer: Twitter stock, which has been a relative train wreck for most of the past few years, is suddenly at a three-year high. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Twitter stock is at a three-year high. What is going on?," 13 June 2018 This train wreck should be a political death sentence for any big-city mayor. Washington Post, "D.C.’s school scandals are barely registering with the public. That shows how little we value education.," 19 Apr. 2018 Consider that the most memorable Oscar moment of the past decade was a train wreck that compromised the dignity of two venerable movie stars and messed with the feelings of two excellent young filmmakers. A. O. Scott And Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Dear Movie Industry, We Have Thoughts," 2 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of train wreck

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about train wreck

Share train wreck

Statistics for train wreck

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for train wreck

The first known use of train wreck was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Comments on train wreck

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to make faulty or ineffective

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!