There are 3 main definitions of rail in English:

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rail1

Syllabification: rail
Pronunciation: /rāl
 
/

noun

1A bar or series of bars, typically fixed on upright supports, serving as part of a fence or barrier or used to hang things on.
Example sentences
  • A similar situation was narrowly avoided whilst recently affixing a curtain rail to the wall in the lounge.
  • Next weekend if they have set well we'll hire a nailgun and attach the rails, build and hang the gates and staple the sheep netting.
  • A rail on the ceiling went around the platform where a curtain could be pulled to hide the bed from view.
1.1 (the rails) The inside boundary fence of a racecourse.
Example sentences
  • Interestingly, he watched the race from just beside that winner's enclosure and only had to hop inside the rails - there's confidence for you.
  • Dunsdon got his mount back inside the rails and went on to win.
  • Refuse To Bend, who won the 2,000 Guineas last year, was bunched in on the outside of the rails and finished in third place.
1.2The edge of a surfboard or sailboard.
Example sentences
  • A cutback is a 180 degree turn that's done on either of the two rails of the surfboard.
  • Most surfers are injured from contact with their own surfboard's side rails and fins.
  • Mike Hynson came out with his lower rails that had hard edges from nose to tail.
2A steel bar or continuous line of bars laid on the ground as one of a pair forming a railroad track: trolley rails
More example sentences
  • In recent years, most steel rails from abandoned lines have been sold to China, he said.
  • He compelled some fettlers to remove rails from the rail track, because they were expecting a train with a number of police.
  • At St. Croix, we leave the joint line for the rails of Canadian Pacific.
2.1 [often as modifier] Railroads as a means of transportation: rail fares traveling by rail
More example sentences
  • The floods of 1999 and 2000 wreaked havoc and seriously affected rail transport in this desperately poor country.
  • Most ports are well linked to local and intercity rail transportation.
  • The golden age of rail travel in the Southwest lives again at a dusty town in eastern Arizona.
Synonyms
3A horizontal piece in the frame of a paneled door or sash window. Compare with stile2.
Example sentences
  • The sash is made up of rails, which are pieces of wood that surround glass panes.
  • The sashes are built from 4 frame components, the top and bottom pieces are called rails and the sides are called stiles.
  • Place a combination square or try square over the rail so the blade is in line with the edge of the stile.
4 Electronics A conductor that is maintained at a fixed potential and to which other parts of a circuit are connected.
Example sentences
  • The BASH converter in turn converts this gate pulse into a power signal that feeds the power amplifier's main supply rails.
  • The beauty of this model is that all we need to do is connect the 3.3V rail to the VDD of one ram slot, which will be shared among all DIMM slots.

verb

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1 [with object] Provide or enclose (a space or place) with a rail or rails: the altar is railed off from the nave
More example sentences
  • The front garden is railed and has space for off-street parking.
  • Lucy stated that probably the toughest trip was the day they trekked to the Cabumi Falls, where they had to climb a stepped and railed path that was pretty testing.
  • All of the three-storey Georgian-style properties on offer have a rear garden with a lawn, patio and a shed as well as a small planted and railed area to the front of the property.
2 [no object] (In windsurfing) sail the board on its edge, so that it is at a sharp angle to the surface of the water.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French reille 'iron rod', from Latin regula 'straight stick, rule'.

Phrases

go off the rails

1
informal Begin behaving in a strange, abnormal, or wildly uncontrolled way.
Example sentences
  • As his acting career began to take off, he began to go off the rails.
  • He had come into the first team and played a few games at just 16 but like a few of the lads he totally lost the place and went off the rails.
  • He became depressed because of the situation, turned to binge drinking and his life went off the rails.

Derivatives

railless

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • From 1908, railed electric buses, railless electric buses and power-driven buses appeared successively, ushering in a period of prosperous transportation.
  • I negotiated the railless stairs and dark corridor without too much injury to my person, and managed to fumble the wooden latch open.
  • Reluctantly, my left hand on the railless wall on that side, my right hand extended out into the blank abyss in the other direction, I began the descent.

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There are 3 main definitions of rail in English:

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rail2

Syllabification: rail
Pronunciation: /rāl
 
/

verb

[no object] (rail against/at/about)
Complain or protest strongly and persistently about: he railed at human fickleness
More example sentences
  • Had those railing against the charges staged a dignified and lawful protest, the likelihood is they would continue to enjoy the support of the general populace.
  • He complained in Parliament that the MP had railed at him on the phone and had called him a ‘scoundrel’.
  • I could get worked up about this, but I'm not so much railing against networks ignoring their civic duty as I am railing against human nature.
Synonyms
protest (against), fulminate against, inveigh against, rage against, speak out against, make a stand against;
expostulate about, criticize, denounce, condemn;
object to, oppose, complain about, challenge
informal kick up a fuss about

Origin

late Middle English: from French railler, from Provençal ralhar 'to jest', based on an alteration of Latin rugire 'to bellow'.

Derivatives

railer

1
noun
Example sentences
  • I do think that the Navy is part of the small government that we railers against big government recognize.
  • He is a major railer against Third World debt and he laudably presented a petition signed by 17 million to the 1999 G8 meeting asking for debt relief.
  • It tends to reduce him to the status of a scurrilous railer, despite the fact that some of Jonson's most graceful and humane verses are based closely upon that poet's work.

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There are 3 main definitions of rail in English:

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rail3

Syllabification: rail
Pronunciation: /rāl
 
/

noun

A secretive bird with drab gray and brown plumage, typically having a long bill and found in dense waterside vegetation.
Example sentences
  • Apart from coots and related rails, only ostriches and weaverbirds can detect parasitic eggs left by their own species.
  • I have often regarded the rail as the premier bird of a freshwater marsh, so a marsh without one is to my mind severely lacking.
  • And the Airport Marsh harbored a multitude of ducks, coots, egrets, herons, and rails.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old Northern French raille, perhaps of imitative origin.

Definition of rail in:

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