- a bar of wood or metal fixed horizontally for any of various purposes, as for a support, barrier, fence, or railing.
- a fence; railing.
- one of two fences marking the inside and outside boundaries of a racetrack.
- one of a pair of steel bars that provide the running surfaces for the wheels of locomotives and railroad cars.
- the railroad as a means of transportation: to travel by rail.
- rails, stocks or bonds of railroad companies.
- Nautical. a horizontal member capping a bulwark.
- Carpentry, Furniture. any of various horizontal members framing panels or the like, as in a system of paneling, paneled door, window sash, or chest of drawers.Compare stile2.
- Slang. a line of cocaine crystals or powder for inhaling through the nose.
- to furnish or enclose with a rail or rails.
Origin of rail1
- to utter bitter complaint or vehement denunciation (often followed by at or against): to rail at fate.
- to bring, force, etc., by railing.
Origin of rail2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for railed
I read a book he wrote in 1913 where he railed against how America squandered all of its wildlife.Mississippi Hippos, Teddy Bears, and Other Strange Beasts
July 25, 2014
In the interview, Hillary railed against a “vast right-wing conspiracy” out to ruin Bill.Hillary Was Right: Your Interactive Guide to the ‘Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy’
May 22, 2014
She railed against the omnibus budget deal that just passed Congress.Tea Party Tests Its Might in Texas by Opposing Conservative Rep. Pete Sessions
January 21, 2014
Online, he railed against his dismissal, posting on Tumblr a bitter takedown of the network and studio.How to Get Fired in Spectacular Fashion
August 22, 2013
“Security in this province is an embarrassment,” Trimarco railed.Argentina Erupts Over Acquittal in Marita Verón Case
Scott C. Johnson
December 14, 2012
He could have raged and railed against his fate like any madman.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
There was a broad avenue, bordered by railed tombs, leading to the church-door.The Manxman
Was she the same girl who had railed so bitterly against Anthony's profession?Glory of Youth
Was not his common talk, When the knaves have railed their fill, then will they hold their peace?'John Knox
A. Taylor Innes
I railed at them for a couple of minutes, but it was mostly unfair.Attrition
- 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 thingsa picture rail
- a horizontal framing member in a door or piece of panellingCompare stile 2
- 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
- short for railway
- (as modifier)rail transport
- nautical a trim for finishing the top of a bulwark
- off the rails
- into or in a state of dysfunction or disorder
- eccentric or mad
- to provide with a rail or railings
- (usually foll by in or off) to fence (an area) with rails
- (intr ; foll by at or against) to complain bitterly or vehementlyto rail against fate
- 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 and History for railed
"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.
Idioms and Phrases with railed
see off the rails; thin as a rail; third rail.