American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A bar extending horizontally between supports, as in a fence.
- n. A structure made of such bars and supports and forming a barrier or guard; a railing.
- n. A steel bar used, usually in pairs, as a track for railroad cars or other wheeled vehicles.
- n. The railroad as a means of transportation: goods transported by rail.
- n. A horizontal framing member in a door or in paneling.
- v. To supply or enclose with rails or a rail.
- n. Any of various marsh birds of the family Rallidae, characteristically having brownish plumage and short wings adapted only for short flights.
- v. To express objections or criticisms in bitter, harsh, or abusive language. See Synonyms at scold.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bar of wood or other material passing from one post or other support to another. Rails, variously secured, as by being mortised to or passing through slots in their supports, etc., are used to form fences and barriers and for many other purposes. In many parts of the United States rail fences are commonly made of rails roughly split from logs and laid zig-zag with their ends resting upon one another, every intersection so formed being often supported by a pair of cross-stakes driven into the ground, upon which the top rails rest.
- n. A structure consisting of rails and their sustaining posts, balusters, or pillars, and constituting an inclosure or line of division: often used in the plural, and also called a railing. The rails of massive stone, elaborately sculptured, which form the ceremonial inclosures of ancient Buddhist topes, temples, sacred trees, etc., in India, are among the most characteristic and important features of Buddhist architecture, and are the most remarkable works of this class known.
- n. In joinery, a horizontal timber in a piece of framing or paneling. Specifically— In a door, sash, or any paneled work, one of the horizontal pieces between which the panels lie, the vertical pieces being called
stiles. See cut under door.
- n. Nautical, one of several bars or timbers in a ship, serving for inclosure or support. The rail, specifically so called, is the fence or upper part of the bulwarks, consisting of a course of molded planks or small timbers mortised to the stanchions, or sometimes to the timber heads. The part passing round the stern is the taffrail. The forecastle-rail, poop-rail, and top-rail are bars extended on stanchions across the after part of the fore-castle-deck, the fore part of the poop, and the after part of each of the tops, respectively. A pin-rail is part of a rail with holes in it for belaying-pins; and a fife-rail is a rail around the lower part of a mast, above the deck, with similar holes. The rails of the head are curved pieces of timber extending from the bows on each side to the hull of the head, for its support.
- n. One of the iron or (now generally) steel bars or beams used on the permanent way of a railway to support and guide the wheels of cars and motors. The general form now most in use for steam-railways is that known as the T-rail. But, though these rails all have a section vaguely resembling the letter T, the proportions of the different parts and the weights of the rails are nearly as various as the railways themselves. In the accompanying diagram is shown a section of a rail weighing 75 pounds per yard in length, the weight of the length of one yard being the common mode of stating the weights of rails. These weights are in modern rails sometimes as great as 80 or 85 pounds per yard, the more recent tendency having been toward heavier locomotives and heavier rails. The cut shows the comparative dimensions of the various parts. (Compare fish-joint, fish-plate, and fish, transitive verb, 8.) The curved junctions of the web with the head and the base are called the fillets.
- n. The railway or railroad as a means of transport: as, to travel or send goods by railroading
- n. In cotton-spinning, a bar having an up-and-down motion, by which yarn passing through is guided upon the bar and is distributed upon the bobbins.
- To inclose with rails: often with in or off.
- To furnish with rails; lay the rails of, as a railway; construct a railway upon or along, as a street.
- To fish with a hand-line over the rail of a ship or boat.
- To range in a line; set in order.
- n. A garment; dress; robe: now only in the compound night-rail.
- n. A kerchief.
- To dress; clothe.
- n. A bird of the subfamily Rallinæ, and especially of the genus Rallus; a water-rail, land-rail, marsh-hen, or crake. Rails are small marsh-loving wading birds, related to coots and gallinules. They abound in the marshes and swamps of most parts of the world, where they thread their way in the mazes of the reeds with great ease and celerity, the body being thin and compressed, and the legs stout and strong with long toes. They nest on the ground, and lay numerous spotted eggs; the young run about as soon as hatched. The common rail of Europe is Rallus aquaticus; the clapper-rail or salt-water marsh-hen of the United States is R. crepitans; the king-rail or fresh-water marsh-hen is R. elegans; the Virginia rail is R. virginianus, also called red rail, little red-breasted rail, lesser clapper-rail, small mud-hen, etc. Very generally, in the United States, the word rail used absolutely means the sora or soree. Porzana carolina, more fully called rail bird, chicken-billed rail, English rail, Carolina rail, American rail, common rail, sora-rail, ortolan, Carolina crake, crake-gallinule, etc. See Crex, Porzana, and cut under
- To speak bitterly, opprobriously, or reproachfully; use acrimonious expressions; scoff; inveigh.
- Synonyms of rail at. To upbraid, scold or scold at or scold about, inveigh against, abuse, objurgate. Railing and scolding are always undignified, if not improper; literally, abusing is improper; all three words may by hyperbole be used for talk which is proper.
- To scoff at; taunt; scold; banter; affect by railing or raillery.
- To run; flow.
- n. A horizontal bar extending between supports and used for support or as a barrier; a railing.
- n. The metal bar that makes the track for a railroad.
- n. A railroad; a railway.
- n. A horizontal piece of wood that serves to separate sections of a door or window.
- n. surfing Lengthwise edges of a surfboard.
- v. intransitive To travel by railway.
- n. Any of several birds in the family Rallidae.
- v. To complain violently (against, about).
- n. obsolete An item of clothing; a cloak or other garment.
- n. obsolete Specifically, a woman's headscarf or neckerchief.
- v. obsolete To gush, flow (of liquid).
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. An outer cloak or covering; a neckerchief for women.
- v. obsolete To flow forth; to roll out; to course.
- n. A bar of timber or metal, usually horizontal or nearly so, extending from one post or support to another, as in fences, balustrades, staircases, etc.
- n. (Arch.) A horizontal piece in a frame or paneling. See
- n. (Railroad) A bar of steel or iron, forming part of the track on which the wheels roll. It is usually shaped with reference to vertical strength, and is held in place by chairs, splices, etc.
- n. The stout, narrow plank that forms the top of the bulwarks.
- n. The light, fencelike structures of wood or metal at the break of the deck, and elsewhere where such protection is needed.
- n. A railroad as a means of transportation.
- n. a railing.
- v. To inclose with rails or a railing.
- v. obsolete To range in a line.
- n. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of limicoline birds of the family
Rallidæ, especially those of the genus Rallus, and of closely allied genera. They are prized as game birds.
- v. To use insolent and reproachful language; to utter reproaches; to scoff; -- followed by at or against, formerly by on.
- v. obsolete To rail at.
- v. rare To move or influence by railing.
- n. short for railway
- v. spread negative information about
- v. enclose with rails
- n. a horizontal bar (usually of wood or metal)
- v. convey (goods etc.) by rails
- v. provide with rails
- n. a barrier consisting of a horizontal bar and supports
- v. lay with rails
- n. any of numerous widely distributed small wading birds of the family Rallidae having short wings and very long toes for running on soft mud
- v. complain bitterly
- n. a bar or pair of parallel bars of rolled steel making the railway along which railroad cars or other vehicles can roll
- v. criticize severely
- v. travel by rail or train
- v. fish with a handline over the rails of a boat
- v. separate with a railing
- Probably from Anglo-Norman raier, Middle French raier. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English raile, from Old French reille, from Latin rēgula, straight piece of wood, ruler; see reg- in Indo-European roots.Middle English raile, from Old French raale, perhaps from Old French raler, racler, to scrape, from Old Provençal rasclar; see raclette.Middle English railen, from Old French railler, to tease, joke, from Old Provençal ralhar, to chat, joke, from Vulgar Latin *ragulāre, to bray, from Late Latin ragere. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In the nineteenth century, when people wanted to describe the new transportation technology that went chug-chug-chug, they called the engine an iron horse and the rail system track way (if they were Dutch) or rail way (if they were English) or iron way (if they were French, German, or Italian) or narrow iron lane (if they were Greek).”
“The “light” in light rail is short for “light-capacity rail transit,” as opposed to “heavy rail” or “heavy-capacity rail transit” (subways and elevateds).”
“The bottom of this scope forms a rail, and near the front of the rail is a series of grooves.”
“He also touches on a lot of things that Matt talks about a lot: building urban rail is not going to be useful unless you also change development, and discourage free parking.”
“Democrats have learned that continually stepping on the third rail is unwise for their political futures.”
“Of course, China will still have lots and lots of international air travel, and also air travel over the very long distances through the interior, just as high-speed rail is never going to displace NY-LA flights here.”
“And while intercity rail is going to be primarily used by fairly prosperous business travelers, better buses would make it a lot easier for economically struggle families.”
“MY: “And while intercity rail is going to be primarily used by fairly prosperous business travelers, better buses would make it a lot easier for economically struggle families.””
“Because people from Ohio will go there on vacation and discover that high speed rail is a nice way to get around.”
“And when you need to move a lot of heavy stuff like military equipment or coal, rail is much cheaper.”
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my words. my mind. my gosh.
try not to enjoy it too much.
Looking for tweets for rail.