Derail meaning

dē-rāl
Derail is defined as to cause something or someone to go off course, literally or figuratively.

An example of derail is when an obstacle forces a train to go off the tracks; derail the train.

An example of derail is when you cut funding to a project and make it impossible to continue; derail the project.

verb
3
1
To cause (a train, etc.) to go off the rails.
verb
2
0
To go off the rails.
verb
2
0
To cause to deviate from a set course or direction.

The protesting students derailed the professor's lecture.

verb
2
1
To run or cause to run off the rails.
verb
1
0
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A device placed on railway tracks causing a train to derail.

The derail was placed deliberately so that the train would fall into the river.

noun
0
0
To cause to come off the tracks.

The train was destroyed when it was derailed by the penny.

verb
0
0
(intransitive) To come off the tracks.
verb
0
0
(intransitive) To deviate from the previous course or direction.

The conversation derailed once James brought up politics.

verb
0
0
To come or bring to a sudden halt.

A campaign derailed by lack of funds; a policy that derailed under the new administration.

verb
0
2
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Origin of derail

  • French dérailler dé- off (from Old French de- de–) rail rail (from English rail1)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French dérailler (“to go off the rails”).

    From Wiktionary