underground railroadUnderground Railroad
[oftenU- R-] in the U.S. before the Civil War, a system set up by certain opponents of slavery to help fugitive slaves escape to free states and Canada
- a. A series of escape routes and hiding places that fugitive slaves used to escape the South before and during the Civil War.b. A secret cooperative network of people who helped and hid such fugitive slaves.
- underground railroad A secret cooperative network engaged in the clandestine movement and housing of fugitives, such as children removed illegally from the custody of a parent charged with child abuse.