/ reɪl; NAmE / noun , verb
[ C ] a wooden or metal bar placed around sth as a barrier or to provide support :
She leaned on the ship's rail and gazed out to sea.
—see also guard rail , handrail
[ C ] a bar fixed to the wall for hanging things on :
a picture / curtain / towel rail
[ C , usually pl. ] each of the two metal bars that form the track that trains run on
[ U ] (often before another noun) railways / railroads as a means of transport :
to travel by rail
rail travel / services / fares
a rail link / network
- get back on the rails
- go off the rails
—more at jump verb
rail (at / against sth/sb) ( formal ) to complain about sth/sb in a very angry way
SYN rage :
[ v ]
She railed against the injustice of it all.
[also v speech ]
- rail sth in / off
noun and idsym. pvsym. Middle English : from Old French reille iron rod, from Latin regula straight stick, rule.
verb late Middle English : from French railler , from Provençal ralhar to jest, based on an alteration of Latin rugire to bellow.