railroad

[reyl-rohd]

noun

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to work on a railroad.

Origin of railroad

1750–60; 1875–85 for def 9; rail1 + road
Related formsnon·rail·road, adjectivepre·rail·road, adjectivepro·rail·road, adjectiveun·rail·road·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for railroad

railway, subway, line, tube, monorail, metro

Examples from the Web for railroad

Contemporary Examples of railroad

Historical Examples of railroad


British Dictionary definitions for railroad

railroad

noun

the usual US word for railway

verb

(tr) informal to force (a person) into (an action) with haste or by unfair means
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 railroad
n.

1757, from rail (n.1) + road. Originally "road laid with rails for heavy wagons (in mining)." The process itself (but not the word) seems to have been in use by late 17c. Application to passenger and freight trains dates from 1825, though tending to be replaced in this sense in England by railway.

v.

"to convict quickly and perhaps unjustly," 1873, American English, from railroad (n.).

A person knowing more than might be desirable of the affairs, or perhaps the previous life of some powerful individual, high in authority, might some day ventilate his knowledge, possibly before a court of justice; but if his wisdom is railroaded to State's prison, his evidence becomes harmless. ["Wanderings of a Vagabond," New York, 1873]

Related: Railroaded; railroading. An earlier verb sense was "to have a mania for building railroads" (1847).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper