Origin of railing
- 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 railing
So it was ironic a couple of months later when the Tea Partiers were railing against it—it had already expired.To GOP Congress, as Usual, It’s Welfare on the Chopping Block
December 25, 2014
According to reports, he received several standing ovations by railing against the government's surveillance programs.Rand Paul's Bill Maher Problem
October 14, 2014
What he should be railing against with equal passion now is illegal guns.Brooklyn Shooting Hits Close to Bill de Blasio’s Park Slope Home
July 1, 2014
Railing against bigness is the easy part, as the Tea Party is now uncomfortably aware.Supersize Me, Your Honor: Liebeck v. McDonald’s and Our Era of Ambition
October 21, 2013
He came to Washington railing against the party establishment.How Did Rand Paul Become a Liberal Hero?
September 29, 2013
He fell back a pace to the railing, his features working with his deep chagrin.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
The Baron had a key, with which he locked the railing behind them.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Suddenly some of the pigeons flew down on the railing of the flower-garden.The Chinese Fairy Book
He went out again to the balcony, leaned on the railing and looked over.A Spirit in Prison
Everybody is abusing him now, and railing at him and insulting him.The Christian
- (often plural) a fence, balustrade, or barrier that consists of rails supported by posts
- rails collectively or material for making rails
- 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 railing
"construction in which rails form an important part," early 15c., verbal noun from rail (v.2). Technically, railings (late 15c.) are horizontal, palings are vertical.
"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 railing
see off the rails; thin as a rail; third rail.