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rail

1
[ reyl ]
/ reɪl /
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See synonyms for: rail / railed / railing on Thesaurus.com

noun
verb (used with object)
to furnish or enclose with a rail or rails.
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Origin of rail

1
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English raile, rail(le), from Old French raille, reille, Anglo-French raila, reyla “(horizontal) bar, beam,” from Latin rēgula “bar, straight piece of wood”; see also regula

OTHER WORDS FROM rail

railless, adjectiveraillike, adjective

Other definitions for rail (2 of 3)

rail2
[ 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
First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English railen, from Middle French railler “to mock, deride,” from Provençal ralhar “to babble, chatter,” from Vulgar Latin ragulāre (unattested), derivative of Late Latin ragere “to bray”

OTHER WORDS FROM rail

railer, nounrail·ing·ly, adverb

Other definitions for rail (3 of 3)

rail3
[ 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
First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English rale, rail, from Middle French raale, raille, from Old French rasle, noun derivative of râler, racler, from Vulgar Latin rāsiculāre (unattested), frequentative of Latin rādere (past participle rāsus ) “to scratch”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use rail in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rail (1 of 3)

rail1
/ (reɪl) /

noun
verb (tr)
to provide with a rail or railings
(usually foll by in or off) to fence (an area) with rails

Derived forms of rail

railless, adjective

Word Origin for rail

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

British Dictionary definitions for rail (2 of 3)

rail2
/ (reɪl) /

verb
(intr ; foll by at or against) to complain bitterly or vehementlyto rail against fate

Derived forms of rail

railer, 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

British Dictionary definitions for rail (3 of 3)

rail3
/ (reɪl) /

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

Other 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.
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