from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.
  • transitive 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.
  • intransitive v. To express objections or criticisms in bitter, harsh, or abusive language. See Synonyms at scold.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • 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. Lengthwise edges of a surfboard.
  • v. To travel by railway.
  • n. Any of several birds in the family Rallidae.
  • n. An item of clothing; a cloak or other garment.
  • n. Specifically, a woman's headscarf or neckerchief.
  • v. To complain violently (against, about).
  • v. To gush, flow (of liquid).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An outer cloak or covering; a neckerchief for women.
  • 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. A horizontal piece in a frame or paneling. See Illust. of Style.
  • n. 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.
  • 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.
  • n. 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.
  • intransitive v. To flow forth; to roll out; to course.
  • intransitive v. To use insolent and reproachful language; to utter reproaches; to scoff; -- followed by at or against, formerly by on.
  • transitive v. To inclose with rails or a railing.
  • transitive v. To range in a line.
  • transitive v. To rail at.
  • transitive v. To move or influence by railing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To dress; clothe.
  • 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 bar of wood or other material passing from one post or other support to another.
  • 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.
  • n. In joinery, a horizontal timber in a piece of framing or paneling.
  • n. Nautical, one of several bars or timbers in a ship, serving for inclosure or 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.
  • 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.
  • n. A garment; dress; robe: now only in the compound night-rail.
  • n. A kerchief.
  • n. A bird of the subfamily Rallinæ, and especially of the genus Rallus; a water-rail, land-rail, marsh-hen, or crake.

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

  • 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


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

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French reille, Latin regula ("rule, bar"), from regere ("to rule, to guide, to govern"); see regular.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French railler.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English hræġl.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from Anglo-Norman raier, Middle French raier.



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  • Also means

    1. to flow forth

    2. to roll out

    3. to course.

    April 21, 2008