- an Old World rail, Rallus aquaticus, having olive-brown plumage marked with black and a long, red bill.
Origin of water rail
First recorded in 1645–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for water rail
The water-rail, and corncrake or land-rail, are also allied to the Gallinules.Bible Animals;
J. G. Wood
All the night through, knocking louder than a water-rail,I stood in vain at the door of hinoki woodweary and lamenting.
The boys went to see the nest and found eleven eggs in it, like those of the water-rail but larger.
The hawk dropped the water-rail and flew down to the lure and suffered herself to be taken.
A cause of deep regret, indeed,Had the door opened at the knocking of the water-rail!
- a large Eurasian rail, Rallus aquaticus, of swamps, ponds, etc, having a long red bill