train wreck

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See also: trainwreck and train-wreck

English[edit]

Train wreck at Montparnasse Station, Paris, France, 1895.
English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

train wreck (plural train wrecks)

  1. The aftermath of a train crash.
  2. (figuratively) A disaster, especially one which is large in scale and readily seen by public observers.
    • 1986, Hugh Sidey, "The Presidency: Colliding with Realities," Time, 1 Sept.:
      There is a feeling in Washington that we are gathering at the side of the track to watch a gigantic economic train wreck one of these days.
    • 2007, Mel Odom, Blood Evidence[1], →ISBN, page 168:
      "Your personal life has been, and is, a train wreck."
    • 2009, Matthue Roth, Never Mind The Goldbergs
      “Hrmm. I see your stylist's been working nights.” He surveyed the train wreck of my hair in the rearview mirror.
  3. (figuratively) Someone (especially a woman) who is unbalanced and considered a mess, a disaster, one who is suffering personal ruin.
    • 2007, Donna Hogan, Train Wreck: The Life and Death of Anna Nicole Smith, Phoenix Books Incorporated (→ISBN), blurb:
      She may have been a train wreck, but she was a train wreck people still can't seem to get enough of. The sordid but fascinating story of her vicious, no-holds-barred battle with life is one of the most gripping, sex-soaked biographies in years.
    • 2016, Sady Doyle, Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why, page 24:
      [...] women, by and large, do not like themselves very much: their ambition gaps, their orgasm gaps, their imposter syndrome, [...] their trainwrecks, and their need for trainwrecks; the enduring, self-loathing need to find someone about whom they can say well, at least I'm not that girl.

Usage notes[edit]

  • In the UK, train crash is preferred for the literal sense, and car crash is more common but not exclusively used for the metaphorical sense.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Verb[edit]

train wreck (third-person singular simple present train wrecks, present participle train wrecking, simple past and past participle train wrecked)

  1. To ruin utterly and catastrophically, to cause to end in disaster.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:trainwreck.
    • 2003, Peter A. Laporta, Ignite the Passion - A Guide to Motivational Leadership, AuthorHouse (→ISBN), page 57:
      [...] basic fundamental communication steps must be achieved so not to train wreck the new employee.
    • 2011, Jaden Lane, If You Could Read My Mind, Xlibris Corporation (→ISBN), page 157:
      "I want this, too, I want you. Like really want you more than anything I've wanted in a long time. But if you force it, you're going to train wreck the whole thing in a fiery mess over a steep cliff with jagged rocks below."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • train wreck (slang): When the parts in an ensemble "collide" because the musicians are not playing together. Hal Leonard Pocket Music Dictionary, p. 122.
  • Train wreck: in jazz, when everything comes off the rails - someone misses a repeat, skips the bridge, and so on. Dolmetsch Online.
  • train wreck” (US) / “train wreck” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.