from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The rail that supplies the high voltage to power a train on an electric railway.
- n. A subject that tends to be avoided because of its offensive or controversial nature: "Social Security, the 'third rail' of American politics” ( Charles Stein).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The electrified rail that runs besides, or between train tracks to power electric trains.
- n. anything that is dangerous to come into contact with, or is best avoided
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- The third rail used in the third-rail system.
- An electric railway using such a rail.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a rail through which electric current is supplied to an electric locomotive
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In his haste to stab Taylor he'd ignored what was just beyond her body — what she'd been trying to sucker him into hitting the electrified third rail of the subway, which held more amperage than an electric chair.