AskDefine | Define rail

Dictionary Definition



1 a barrier consisting of a horizontal bar and supports [syn: railing]
2 short for railway; "he traveled by rail"; "he was concerned with rail safety"
3 a bar or bars of rolled steel making a track along which vehicles can roll [syn: track, rails]
4 a horizontal bar (usually of wood)
5 any of numerous widely distributed small wading birds of the family Rallidae having short wings and very long toes for running on soft mud


1 complain bitterly [syn: inveigh]
2 enclose with rails; "rail in the old graves" [syn: rail in]
3 provide with rails; "The yard was railed"
4 separate with a railing; "rail off the crowds from the Presidential palace" [syn: rail off]
5 convey (goods etc.) by rails; "fresh fruit are railed from Italy to Belgium"
6 travel by rail or train; "They railed from Rome to Venice"; "She trained to Hamburg" [syn: train]
7 lay with rails; "hundreds of miles were railed out here"
8 fish with a hand-line over the rails of a boat; "They are railing for fresh fish"
9 spread negative information about; "The Nazi propaganda vilified the Jews" [syn: vilify, revile, vituperate]
10 criticize severely; "He fulminated against the Republicans' plan to cut Medicare"; "She railed against the bad social policies" [syn: fulminate]

User Contributed Dictionary



Etymology 1

reille, regula, rule, bar, from regere, to rule, to guide, to govern.


  1. a horizontal bar extending between supports and used for support or as a barrier; a railing.
  2. the metal bar that makes the track for a railroad.
  3. a railroad; a railway
  4. a horizontal piece of wood that serves to separate sections of a door or window.
  5. lengthwise edges of a surfboard
    Rails alone can only ever have a marginal effect on a board's general turning ability — Nick Carroll at
a horizontal bar; a railing
the metal bar that makes the track for a railroad
a railroad; a railway
  • French: rail
  • German: Eisenbahn , Bahn , Schiene , Gleis , Gleise (Plural)
  • Italian: rotaia
  • Japanese: 鉄道
  • Norwegian: jernbane
  • Portuguese: trilho
  • Russian: железная дорога
a horizontal piece of wood that serves to separate sections of a door or window
lengthwise edges of a surfboard
See also

Etymology 2

râle, rasle. Compare Medieval Latin rallus. Named from its harsh cry, Vulgar Latin rasculum, from Latin radere, to scrape.


  1. a small bird resembling a crane
a small bird resembling a crane
  • German: Ralle
  • Japanese: クイナ
  • Russian: пастушок
  • Slovene: capovoznik
  • Spanish: rascón
  • Swedish: rall

See also

Etymology 3


  1. to complain violently; to abuse
Usage notes
Usually in the form "rail against". E.g. The main opposition parties railed against the government's new tax proposals.
to complain
  • German: hetzen
  • Japanese: ののしる; qualifier slang ゴネる
  • Swedish: skälla, smäda

Etymology 4



  1. An item of clothing; a cloak or other garment.
  2. Specifically, a woman's headscarf or neckerchief.
Derived terms



rail f




From rail.


fr-noun m

Extensive Definition

Rail or rails may refer to:
rail in French: Rails
rail in Dutch: Rails
rail in Japanese: 線路
rail in Simple English: Rail

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

L, attack, baluster, balustrade, banister, bar, barrier, bawl out, berate, bottle up, boundary, box up, branch, bulkhead in, cable railway, cage, censure, check, chew out, cloister, cog railway, condemn, confine, constrain, coop, coop in, coop up, cork up, crib, criticize, decry, denounce, detain, el, electric railway, elevated, elevated railway, embankment, encage, enclose, feeder, feeder line, fence, fence in, fulminate, gravity-operated railway, gruel, handrail, hedge, hem, hem in, hold, hold in custody, hold in restraint, horse railway, immure, impound, inhibit, jaw, junction, keep in, keep in custody, keep in detention, lath, light railroad, line, main line, mere shadow, metro, mew, mew up, monorail, pale, palisade, paper, pen, pen up, picket, pound, rack railway, rack-and-pinion railway, rail in, rail line, railing, railroad, railway, rake, rate, restrain, restrict, revile, roadbed, roadway, rod, scold, seal up, shackle, shadow, shaving, shut in, shut up, sidetrack, siding, skeleton, slat, slip, soup, splinter, stone wall, streak, street railway, streetcar line, subway, switchback, terminal, terminus, tongue-lash, track, tram, tramline, trestle, trolley line, trunk, trunk line, tube, turnout, underground, upbraid, vein, vituperate, vociferate, wafer, wall, wall in
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