Derail Definition

dē-rāl
derailed, derailing, derails
verb
derailed, derailing, derails
To run or cause to run off the rails.
American Heritage
To come or bring to a sudden halt.
A campaign derailed by lack of funds; a policy that derailed under the new administration.
American Heritage
To go off the rails.
Webster's New World
To cause (a train, etc.) to go off the rails.
Webster's New World

(intransitive) To come off the tracks.

Wiktionary
Synonyms:
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noun
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.
Wiktionary

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

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