1. n. & v.
1. a level or sloping bar or series of bars: a used to hang things on. b running along the top of a set of banisters. c forming part of a fence or barrier as protection against contact, falling over, etc.
2 a steel bar or continuous line of bars laid on the ground, usu. as one of a pair forming a railway track.
3 (often attrib.) a railway (send it by rail; rail fares).
4 (in pl.) the inside boundary fence of a racecourse.
5 a horizontal piece in the frame of a panelled door etc. (cf. STILE(2)).
1. furnish with a rail or rails.
2 (usu. foll. by in, off) enclose with rails (a small space was railed off).
3 convey (goods) by rail.
Phrases and idioms:
off the rails disorganized; out of order; deranged. over the rails over the side of a ship. rail fence esp. US a fence made of posts and rails. rail gun an electromagnetic projectile launcher used esp. as an anti-missile weapon.
railage n. railless adj.
Etymology: ME f. OF reille iron rod f. L regula RULE 2. v.intr. (often foll. by at, against) complain using abusive language; rant.
railer n. railing n. & adj.
Etymology: ME f. F railler f. Prov. ralhar jest, ult. f. L rugire bellow 3. n. any bird of the family Rallidae, often inhabiting marshes, esp. the corncrake and water rail.
Etymology: ME f. ONF raille f. Rmc, perh. imit.