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Meaning of derail

de•rail

Pronunciation: (dē-rāl'), [key]
— v.t.
  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.
—v.i.
  1. (of a train, streetcar, etc.) to run off the rails of a track.
  2. to become derailed; go astray.
—n.
  1. a track device for derailing rolling stock in an emergency.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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