rail

1
[ reyl ]
/ reɪl /
||

noun

verb (used with object)

to furnish or enclose with a rail or rails.

Nearby words

  1. rai,
  2. raia,
  3. raiatea,
  4. raid,
  5. raider,
  6. rail anchor,
  7. rail bead,
  8. rail detector car,
  9. rail fence,
  10. rail gauge

Origin of rail

1
1250–1300; Middle English raile < Old French raille bar, beam < Latin rēgula bar, straight piece of wood, regula

Related formsrail·less, adjectiverail·like, adjective

rail

2
[ 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 rail

2
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 formsrail·er, nounrail·ing·ly, adverb

rail

3
[ reyl ]
/ reɪl /

noun

any of numerous birds of the family Rallidae, that have short wings, a narrow body, long toes, and a harsh cry and inhabit grasslands, forests, and marshes in most parts of the world.

Origin of rail

3
1400–50; late Middle English rale < Old French raale (cognate with Provençal rascla), noun derivative of raler < Vulgar Latin *rāsiculāre frequentative of Latin rādere (past participle rāsus) to scratch

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rail


British Dictionary definitions for rail

rail

1
/ (reɪl) /

noun

verb (tr)

to provide with a rail or railings
(usually foll by in or off) to fence (an area) with rails
Derived Formsrailless, adjective

Word Origin for rail

C13: from Old French raille rod, from Latin rēgula ruler, straight piece of wood

verb

(intr ; foll by at or against) to complain bitterly or vehementlyto rail against fate
Derived Formsrailer, noun

Word Origin for rail

C15: from Old French railler to mock, from Old Provençal ralhar to chatter, joke, from Late Latin ragere to yell, neigh

noun

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 for rail

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

Word Origin and History for rail
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with rail

rail

see off the rails; thin as a rail; third rail.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.