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derail

[dee-reyl] /diˈreɪl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to cause (a train, streetcar, etc.) to run off the rails of a track.
2.
to cause to fail or become deflected from a purpose; reduce or delay the chances for success or development of:
Being drafted into the army derailed his career for two years.
verb (used without object)
3.
(of a train, streetcar, etc.) to run off the rails of a track.
4.
to become derailed; go astray.
noun
5.
a track device for derailing rolling stock in an emergency.
Origin
1840-1850
1840-50; < French dérailler, equivalent to dé- dis-1 + -railler, verbal derivative of rail rail1 (< E)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for derailed
  • The insider was profoundly disappointed and left to wonder what had derailed his candidacy.
  • For example, your entire digital humanities project could be derailed by a server failure.
  • Not that quick, and obviously could be derailed by any number of factors, but well within the range of many animals and plants.
  • The duo worked with several major labels over the years, but those deals all derailed.
  • But don't expect his nomination to be derailed by it.
  • Not to have done so would have derailed any hopes he might nurture of running for a second presidential term.
  • Otherwise, the more extreme contenders have all been derailed before they could pose much of a threat.
  • The state agency responsible for indigent defense has run out of money, and other cases are at risk of being delayed or derailed.
  • After that early career high, he seems to have been derailed.
  • Both teams faced challenges that could have derailed less determined crews, but they found ways to surmount them.
British Dictionary definitions for derailed

derail

/dɪˈreɪl/
verb
1.
to go or cause to go off the rails, as a train, tram, etc
noun
2.
(mainly US) Also called derailer. a device designed to make rolling stock or locomotives leave the rails to avoid a collision or accident
Derived Forms
derailment, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for derailed

derail

v.

1850, in both transitive and intransitive senses, from French dérailler "to go off the rails," from de- (see de-) + railler (see rail (n.1)). In general use first in U.S. Related: Derailed; derailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for derailed

derail

verb

To throw off the proper course; wreck: He managed to derail the proposal just before Christmas

[1950s+; The source term, ''To leave or cause a car or engine to leave the railroad tracks,'' was adopted fr French by 1850]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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