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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[reyl] /reɪl/
verb (used without object)
to utter bitter complaint or vehement denunciation (often followed by at or against):
to rail at fate.
verb (used with object)
to bring, force, etc., by railing.
Origin of rail2
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English railen < Middle French railler to deride < Provençal ralhar to chatter < Vulgar Latin *ragulāre, derivative of Late Latin ragere to bray
Related forms
railer, noun
railingly, adverb
1. fulminate, inveigh, castigate, rant, revile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for railers


a horizontal bar of wood, metal, etc, supported by vertical posts, functioning as a fence, barrier, handrail, etc
a horizontal bar fixed to a wall on which to hang things: a picture rail
a horizontal framing member in a door or piece of panelling Compare stile2
short for railing
one of a pair of parallel bars laid on a prepared track, roadway, etc, that serve as a guide and running surface for the wheels of a railway train, tramcar, etc
  1. short for railway
  2. (as modifier): rail transport
(nautical) a trim for finishing the top of a bulwark
off the rails
  1. into or in a state of dysfunction or disorder
  2. eccentric or mad
verb (transitive)
to provide with a rail or railings
usually foll by in or off. to fence (an area) with rails
Derived Forms
railless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French raille rod, from Latin rēgula ruler, straight piece of wood


(intransitive; foll by at or against) to complain bitterly or vehemently: to rail against fate
Derived Forms
railer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French railler to mock, from Old Provençal ralhar to chatter, joke, from Late Latin ragere to yell, neigh


any of various small wading birds of the genus Rallus and related genera: family Rallidae, order Gruiformes (cranes, etc). They have short wings, long legs, and dark plumage
Word Origin
C15: from Old French raale, perhaps from Latin rādere to scrape
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for railers



"horizontal bar passing from one post or support to another," c.1300, from Old French reille "bolt, bar," from Vulgar Latin *regla, from Latin regula "straight stick," diminutive form related to regere "to straighten, guide" (see regal). Used figuratively for thinness from 1872. To be off the rails in a figurative sense is from 1848, an image from the railroads. In U.S. use, "A piece of timber, cleft, hewed, or sawed, inserted in upright posts for fencing" [Webster, 1830].

"small wading bird," mid-15c., from Old French raale (13c.), related to râler "to rattle," of unknown origin, perhaps imitative of its cry.


"complain," mid-15c., from Middle French railler "to tease or joke" (15c.), perhaps from Old Provençal ralhar "scoff, to chat, to joke," from Vulgar Latin *ragulare "to bray" (cf. Italian ragghiare "to bray"), from Late Latin ragere "to roar," probably of imitative origin. See rally (v.2). Related: Railed; railing.

"fence in with rails," late 14c., from rail (n.1). Related: Railed; railing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for railers



  1. A thin row of powdered narcotic to be sniffed; line: I snorted the rails that Hondo offered (1960s+ Narcotics)
  2. An elongated sort of competition hot rod (1970s+ Hot rodders)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with railers
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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