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a. A bar extending horizontally between supports, as in a fence.
b. A structure made of such bars and supports and forming a barrier or guard; a railing.
2. A steel bar used, usually in pairs, as a track for railroad cars or other wheeled vehicles.
3. Sports A grind rail.
4. The railroad as a means of transportation: goods transported by rail.
5. A horizontal framing member in a door or in paneling.
tr.v. railed, rail·ing, rails
To supply or enclose with rails or a rail.
[Middle English raile, from Old French reille, from Latin rēgula, straight piece of wood, ruler; see reg- in Indo-European roots.]
Any of various marsh birds of the family Rallidae, found worldwide and characteristically having brownish plumage and short wings.
[Middle English rale, from Old French rasle, probably named for their harsh cries and from Old French *rasler, to make a harsh noise (attested in Middle French rasler, to haggle, bellow like a stag), akin to Old French rasclar, to harrow, rake, from Old Provençal rasclar; see raclette.]
intr.v. railed, rail·ing, rails
To express objections or criticisms in bitter, harsh, or abusive language. See Synonyms at scold.
[Middle English railen, from Old French railler, to tease, joke, from Old Provençal ralhar, to chat, joke, from Vulgar Latin *ragulāre, to bray, from Late Latin ragere.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.