Meaning of RAIL in English


I. rail 1 S2 W2 /reɪl/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: reille 'bar' , from Latin regula 'ruler' , from regere 'to keep straight' ]

1 . [uncountable] the railway system ⇨ train :

the American rail system

a high-speed rail network

Passengers want a better rail service.

the Channel Tunnel and its rail links with London

by rail

We continued our journey by rail.

I need to buy a rail ticket.

cheap rail fares

2 . [countable] one of the two long metal tracks fastened to the ground that trains move along

3 . [countable] a bar that is fastened along or around something, especially to stop you from going somewhere or from falling:

Several passengers were leaning against the ship’s rail.

⇨ ↑ guardrail , ↑ handrail

4 . [countable] a bar that you use to hang things on:

a towel rail

a curtain rail

5 . go off the rails informal to start behaving in a strange or socially unacceptable way:

At 17 he suddenly went off the rails and started stealing.

6 . back on the rails happening or functioning normally again:

The coach was credited with putting the team back on the rails.

• • •


■ rail + NOUN

▪ the rail network/system (=the system of railway lines in a country)

The government has spent £2 billion on improving the country's rail network.

▪ a rail service

People want a safe, reliable rail service.

▪ a rail ticket

a first-class rail ticket

▪ a rail fare

Rail fares are to increase by up to 9.4%.

▪ rail travel

They had introduced measures to make rail travel safer.

▪ a rail passenger

Rail passengers will have to pay more for their tickets next year.

▪ a rail crash

Police have named four more victims of the Selby rail crash.

▪ a rail link (=that makes train travel between two places possible)

He proposed building a high-speed rail link between the two airports.

II. rail 2 BrE AmE verb

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: French ; Origin: railler 'to make fun of' , from Late Latin ragere 'to make the sound of a horse' ]

1 . [transitive] to enclose or separate an area with rails ⇨ cordon off

rail something off/in

The police railed off the area where the accident happened.

2 . [intransitive and transitive] formal to complain angrily about something, especially something that you think is very unfair

rail against/at

Consumers rail against the way companies fix prices.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.