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Underground Railroad


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A secret cooperative network that aided fugitive slaves in reaching sanctuary in the free states or in Canada in the years before the abolition of slavery in the United States.
  • n. A secret cooperative network engaged in the clandestine movement and housing of fugitives, such as children removed illegally from the custody of a parent charged with child abuse.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The Pre-American Civil War anti-slavery resistance movement dedicated to assisting escaped slaves in reaching safe territory.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. See under Railroad.
  • n. Formerly, a system of coöperation among certain active antislavery people in the United States prior to 1866, by which fugitive slaves were secretly helped to reach Canada.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. secret aid to escaping slaves that was provided by abolitionists in the years before the American Civil War


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Emily had heard whispers of a group called the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves reach Canada, but she knew no one who admitted to being part of it.

    Girls To The Rescue Book #3

  • Some people—they’re called the Underground Railroad—help people like me.

    Girls To The Rescue Book #3

  • Pauline Johnson, 83, says she didn't even learn she was the great-grandniece of Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman until she was 25.

    150 years after Civil War, descendants deal with legacy

  • It is impossible to confirm or verify any one specific route taken on the Underground Railroad, as it was often not the same route for reasons of safety and circumstance.

    Eliza’s Freedom Road

  • Detroit was the last stop on the Underground Railroad -- the escape route for slaves during the Civil War -- before Canada.

    April Rudin: This Is My Detroit: What the Motor City Means to Me

  • Figuring out which spirit would have been tastiest on the March to Selma or along the Underground Railroad felt a little... unseemly.

    Tony Sachs: Candy? Flowers? Feh! New Spirits To Wow Your Sweetie This Valentine's Day

  • Think about the Underground Railroad that helped escaped slaves to freedom, or about the courageous actions of people like Rosa Parks, who refused to stay in the back of the bus simply because of their skin color.

    US eco-activist jailed for two years

  • There's live music too, with Underground Railroad, Givers and the Rent Boys all having taken to the Creep stage in recent weeks.

    Clubs picks of the week

  • Pennington didn't just maintain his own stop on the Underground Railroad; he sheltered the newly escaped Frederick Douglass, solemnized the young man's marriage and shared invaluable Northern contacts with him.

    Eloquence And Abolition

  • The Oberlin community possessed deep conviction it was a central cog in the Underground Railroad, and its own style of passionate intensity: at one point, dietary restrictions at the college were so severe that in addition to alcohol, tea, coffee, and meat, the list of proscribed foods included pepper, gravy, and butter.



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