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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [rail]

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rail

RAIL, n.

1. A cross beam fixed at the ends in two upright posts.

[In New England, this is never called a beam; pieces of timber of the proper size for rails are called scantling.]

2. In the United States, a piece of timber cleft, hewed or sawed, rough or smooth, inserted in upright posts for fencing. The common rails among farmers, are rough, being used as they are split from the chestnut or other trees. The rails used in fences of boards or pickets round gentlemen's houses and gardens, are usually sawed scantling and often dressed with the plane.

3. A bar of wood or iron used for inclosing any place; the piece into which ballusters are inserted.

4. A series of posts connected with cross beams, by which a place is inclosed.

In New England we never call this series a rail, but by the general term railing. In a picket fence, the pales or pickets rise above the rails; in a ballustrade, or fence resembling it, the ballusters usually terminate in the rails.

5. In a ship, a narrow plank nailed for ornament or security on a ship's upper works; also, a curved piece of timber extending from the bows of a ship to the continuation of its stern, to support the knee of the head, &c.

RAIL, n. A bird of the genus Rallus, consisting of many species. The water rail has a long slender body with short concave wings. The birds of the genus inhabit the slimy margins of rivers and ponds covered with marsh plants.

RAIL, n.

A woman's upper garment; retained in the word nightrail, but not used in the United States.

RAIL, v.t.

1. To inclose with rails.

2. To range in a line.

RAIL, v.i. [Eng. to brawl.]

To utter reproaches; to scoff; to use insolent and reproachful language; to reproach or censure in opprobrious terms; followed by at or against, formerly by on.

And rail at arts he did not understand.

Lesbia forever on e rails.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [rail]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

RAIL, n.

1. A cross beam fixed at the ends in two upright posts.

[In New England, this is never called a beam; pieces of timber of the proper size for rails are called scantling.]

2. In the United States, a piece of timber cleft, hewed or sawed, rough or smooth, inserted in upright posts for fencing. The common rails among farmers, are rough, being used as they are split from the chestnut or other trees. The rails used in fences of boards or pickets round gentlemen's houses and gardens, are usually sawed scantling and often dressed with the plane.

3. A bar of wood or iron used for inclosing any place; the piece into which ballusters are inserted.

4. A series of posts connected with cross beams, by which a place is inclosed.

In New England we never call this series a rail, but by the general term railing. In a picket fence, the pales or pickets rise above the rails; in a ballustrade, or fence resembling it, the ballusters usually terminate in the rails.

5. In a ship, a narrow plank nailed for ornament or security on a ship's upper works; also, a curved piece of timber extending from the bows of a ship to the continuation of its stern, to support the knee of the head, &c.

RAIL, n. A bird of the genus Rallus, consisting of many species. The water rail has a long slender body with short concave wings. The birds of the genus inhabit the slimy margins of rivers and ponds covered with marsh plants.

RAIL, n.

A woman's upper garment; retained in the word nightrail, but not used in the United States.

RAIL, v.t.

1. To inclose with rails.

2. To range in a line.

RAIL, v.i. [Eng. to brawl.]

To utter reproaches; to scoff; to use insolent and reproachful language; to reproach or censure in opprobrious terms; followed by at or against, formerly by on.

And rail at arts he did not understand.

Lesbia forever on e rails.

RAIL, n.1 [G. riegel, rail; bolt or bar; W. rhail.]

  1. A cross beam faxed at the ends in two upright posts. – Moxon. [In New England, this is never called a beam; pieces of timber of the proper size for rails are called scantling.]
  2. In the United States, a piece of timber cleft, hewed or sawed, rough or smooth, inserted in upright posts for fencing. The common rails among farmers, are rough, being used as they are split from the chestnut or other trees. The rails used in fences of boards or pickets round gentlemen's houses and gardens, are usually sawed scantling and often dressed with the plane.
  3. A bar of wood or iron used for inclosing any place; the piece into which balusters are inserted.
  4. A series of posts connected with cross beams, by which a place is inclosed. – Johnson. In New England we never call this series a rail, but by the general term railing. In a picket fence, the pales or pickets rise above the rails; in a balustrade, or fence resembling it, the balusters usually terminate in the rails.
  5. In a ship, a narrow plank nailed for ornament or security on a ship's upper works; also, a curved piece of timber extending from the bows of a ship to the continuation of its stern, to support the knee of the head, &c. – Mar. Dict.

RAIL, n.2

A bird of the genus Rallus, consisting of many species. The water-rail has a long slender body with short concave wings. The birds of this genus inhabit the slimy margins of rivers and ponds covered with marsh plants. – Encyc.


RAIL, n.3 [Sax. hrægle, rægle, from wrigan, to put on or cover, to rig.]

A woman's upper garment; retained in the word nightrail, but not used in the United States.


RAIL, n.4

In architecture, the horizontal part in any piece of framing or paneling.


RAIL, v.i. [D. rallen, to jabber; Sp. ralla, to grate, to molest; Port. ralhar, to swagger, to hector, to huff, to scold. This corresponds nearly with the G. prahlen, which may be the same word with a prefix, Eng. to brawl, Fr. brailler; Sw. ralla, to prate; Fr. railler, to rally. In Dan. driller signifies to drill and to banter.]

To utter reproaches; to scoff; to use insolent and reproachful language; to reproach or censure in opprobrious terms; followed by at or against, formerly by on. – Shak. And rail at arts he did not understand. – Dryden. Lesbia forever on the rails. – Swift.


RAIL, v.t.

  1. To inclose with rails. – Carew. Spectator.
  2. To range in a line. – Bacon.

Rail
  1. An outer cloak or covering; a neckerchief for women.

    Fairholt.
  2. To flow forth; to roll out; to course.

    [Obs.]

    Streams of tears from her fair eyes forth railing. Spenser.

  3. A bar of timber or metal, usually horizontal or nearly so, extending from one post or support to another, as in fences, balustrades, staircases, etc.
  4. To inclose with rails or a railing.

    It ought to be fenced in and railed. Ayliffe.

  5. Any one of numerous species of limicoline birds of the family Rallidæ, especially those of the genus Rallus, and of closely allied genera. They are prized as game birds.

    * The common European water rail (Rallus aquaticus) is called also bilcock, skitty coot, and brook runner. The best known American species are the clapper rail, or salt-marsh hen (Rallus longirostris, var. crepitans); the king, or red-breasted, rail (R. elegans) (called also fresh-water marsh-hen); the lesser clapper, or Virginia, rail (R. Virginianus); and the Carolina, or sora, rail (Porzana Carolina). See Sora.

    Land rail (Zoöl.), the corncrake.

  6. To use insolent and reproachful language; to utter reproaches; to scoff; -- followed by at or against, formerly by on.

    Shak.

    And rail at arts he did not understand. Dryden.

    Lesbia forever on me rails. Swift.

  7. To rail at.

    [Obs.] Feltham.
  8. A railroad as a means of transportation; as, to go by rail; a place not accesible by rail.
  9. A horizontal piece in a frame or paneling. See Illust. of Style.
  10. To range in a line.

    [Obs.]

    They were brought to London all railed in ropes, like a team of horses in a cart. Bacon.

  11. To move or influence by railing.

    [R.]

    Rail the seal from off my bond. Shak.

  12. A bar of steel or iron, forming part of the track on which the wheels roll. It is usually shaped with reference to vertical strength, and is held in place by chairs, splices, etc.
  13. The stout, narrow plank that forms the top of the bulwarks.

    (b)
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Rail

RAIL, noun

1. A cross beam fixed at the ends in two upright posts.

[In New England, this is never called a beam; pieces of timber of the proper size for rails are called scantling.]

2. In the United States, a piece of timber cleft, hewed or sawed, rough or smooth, inserted in upright posts for fencing. The common rails among farmers, are rough, being used as they are split from the chestnut or other trees. The rails used in fences of boards or pickets round gentlemen's houses and gardens, are usually sawed scantling and often dressed with the plane.

3. A bar of wood or iron used for inclosing any place; the piece into which ballusters are inserted.

4. A series of posts connected with cross beams, by which a place is inclosed.

In New England we never call this series a rail but by the general term railing. In a picket fence, the pales or pickets rise above the rails; in a ballustrade, or fence resembling it, the ballusters usually terminate in the rails.

5. In a ship, a narrow plank nailed for ornament or security on a ship's upper works; also, a curved piece of timber extending from the bows of a ship to the continuation of its stern, to support the knee of the head, etc.

RAIL, noun A bird of the genus Rallus, consisting of many species. The water rail has a long slender body with short concave wings. The birds of the genus inhabit the slimy margins of rivers and ponds covered with marsh plants.

RAIL, noun

A woman's upper garment; retained in the word nightrail, but not used in the United States.

RAIL, verb transitive

1. To inclose with rails.

2. To range in a line.

RAIL, verb intransitive [Eng. to brawl.]

To utter reproaches; to scoff; to use insolent and reproachful language; to reproach or censure in opprobrious terms; followed by at or against, formerly by on.

And rail at arts he did not understand.

Lesbia forever on e rails.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

stuffed

STUFFED, pp. Filled; crowded; crammed.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

First dictionary of the American Language!

Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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