The verb rail means to criticize severely. When you rail against increased taxes at a town meeting, you speak openly and loudly about how wrong the increase is and point out the problems it will cause.

Rail can also mean "to complain." When your mom asks you to vacuum the house, you might rail against this chore by saying that you ALWAYS do the vacuuming, that vacuuming is SO hard, and that you hate the stupid vacuum! Rail can also mean to spread negative information about someone in an abusive way. If your "friends" rail against you to everyone in school, they're spreading nasty rumors about you, and you should find new friends!

Primary Meanings of rail

a horizontal bar (usually of wood or metal)
enclose with rails
complain bitterly
any of numerous widely distributed small wading birds of the family Rallidae having short wings and very long toes for running on soft mud
Full Definitions of rail

n a horizontal bar (usually of wood or metal)

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hitching bar, hitchrack
a fixed horizontal rail to which a horse can be hitched to prevent it from straying
ledger board
top rail of a fence or balustrade
picture rail
rail fixed to a wall for hanging pictures
plate rail
rail or narrow shelf fixed to a wall to display plates
fence rail, split rail
a rail that is split from a log
Type of:
a rigid piece of metal or wood; usually used as a fastening or obstruction or weapon

n a barrier consisting of a horizontal bar and supports

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(law) a railing that encloses the part of the courtroom where the judges and lawyers sit and the case is tried
fife rail
the railing surrounding the mast of a sailing vessel
guardrail, safety rail
a railing placed alongside a stairway or road for safety
the railing around the stern of a ship
Type of:
a structure or object that impedes free movement

n a bar or pair of parallel bars of rolled steel making the railway along which railroad cars or other vehicles can roll

rails, runway, track
third rail
a rail through which electric current is supplied to an electric locomotive
Type of:
a rigid piece of metal or wood; usually used as a fastening or obstruction or weapon

n short for railway

“he traveled by rail
“he was concerned with rail safety”
Type of:
railroad, railroad line, railway, railway line, railway system
line that is the commercial organization responsible for operating a system of transportation for trains that pull passengers or freight

v enclose with rails

rail in the old graves”
rail in
Type of:
confine, enclose, hold in
close in; "darkness confined him"

v provide with rails

“The yard was railed
Type of:
furnish, provide, render, supply
give something useful or necessary to

v separate with a railing

rail off the crowds from the Presidential palace”
rail off
Type of:
divide, separate
make a division or separation

v convey (goods etc.) by rails

“fresh fruit are railed from Italy to Belgium”
Type of:
move something or somebody around; usually over long distances

v travel by rail or train

“They railed from Rome to Venice”
Type of:
be carried or travel on or in a vehicle

v lay with rails

“hundreds of miles were railed out here”
Type of:
lay, put down, repose
put in a horizontal position

v fish with a handline over the rails of a boat

“They are railing for fresh fish”
Type of:
catch or try to catch fish or shellfish

v complain bitterly

Type of:
complain, kick, kvetch, plain, quetch, sound off
express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness

v spread negative information about

revile, vilify, vituperate
Type of:
abuse, blackguard, clapperclaw, shout
use foul or abusive language towards

v criticize severely

“She railed against the bad social policies”
Type of:
speak out against

n any of numerous widely distributed small wading birds of the family Rallidae having short wings and very long toes for running on soft mud

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maori hen, weka, wood hen
flightless New Zealand rail of thievish disposition having short wings each with a spur used in fighting
any of several short-billed Old World rails
Notornis mantelli, notornis, takahe
flightless New Zealand birds similar to gallinules
slate-black slow-flying birds somewhat resembling ducks
Crex crex, corncrake, land rail
common Eurasian rail that frequents grain fields
Porzana porzana, spotted crake
Eurasian rail of swamps and marshes
American coot, Fulica americana, marsh hen, mud hen, water hen
a coot found in North America
Fulica atra, Old World coot
a coot found in Eurasia
Type of:
wader, wading bird
any of many long-legged birds that wade in water in search of food

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