train wreck


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 Cain, 72, remembers seeing Kaline trying to wave off Northrup before the train wreck. Bill Dow, Detroit Free Press, "The time Detroit Tigers' Willie Horton saved Al Kaline's life after an outfield collision," 20 June 2020 No one familiar with Georgia’s record of election administration was surprised to see another train wreck unfold during Tuesday’s primary. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "How Electronic Voting in Georgia Resulted in a Disenfranchising Debacle," 12 June 2020 One former top executive summed up its plight as a slow-moving train wreck. David Welch,, "O.J., Accounting Fraud, Icahn: The Story of Hertz Going Bust," 24 May 2020 Let’s look at two vacation rental organizations that faced these hard questions as the world was becoming the equivalent of a slow-motion train wreck. Los Angeles Times, "Refund for an Airbnb or Vrbo stay that didn’t happen? Yes, no, maybe. Here’s why," 8 Apr. 2020 Dear Amy: My brother is going to marry a train wreck! Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Neighbors step up to help out during virus crisis," 13 Apr. 2020 Based on the trailers for this season, that’s not going to stop this train wreck from happening. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The Challenge: Total Madness premiere recap: An unholy alliance more than a decade in the making," 2 Apr. 2020 Nick and Vanessa Lachey host the show, which is partly an inquiry into the true value of physical attractiveness and partly a chance to watch potential relationship train wrecks unfold. Noel Murray, New York Times, "12 Recent Netflix Originals Worth Streaming While Stuck at Home," 13 Mar. 2020 Brown’s yearlong train wreck continues; while fighting over helmets and arriving in a hot-air balloon might be amusing, abusing his children is not. Ann Killion,, "Marshawn Lynch’s advice resonates after Antonio Brown, Luke Kuechly news," 15 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for train wreck

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The first known use of train wreck was in 1874

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Statistics for train wreck

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Train wreck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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