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
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
Consumers rail against the way companies fix prices.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012