Definitions for: Rack

[n] a rapid gait of a horse in which each foot strikes the ground separately
[n] a support for displaying various articles; "the newspapers were arranged on a rack"
[n] framework for holding objects
[n] an instrument of torture that stretches or disjoints or mutilates victims
[n] the destruction or collapse of something; "wrack and ruin"
[n] rib section of a forequarter of veal or pork or especially lamb or mutton
[v] torture on the rack
[v] seize together, as of parallel ropes of a tackle in order to prevent running through the block
[v] work on a rack, of materials such as leather
[v] rack one's brains
[v] torment emotionally or mentally
[v] draw off from the lees, as of wine
[v] fly in high wind
[v] run before a gale
[v] go at a rack, as of horses
[v] go at a rack, of horses
[v] obtain by coercion or intimidation; "They extorted money from the executive by threatening to reveal his past to the company boss"
[v] work by a rack and pinion or worm so as to extend or contract; "rack a camera"

Webster (1913) Definition: Rack, n.
Same as Arrack.

Rack, n. [AS. hracca neck, hinder part of the head; cf.
AS. hraca throat, G. rachen throat, E. retch.]
The neck and spine of a fore quarter of veal or mutton.

Rack, n. [See Wreck.]
A wreck; destruction. [Obs., except in a few phrases.]

Rack and ruin, destruction; utter ruin. [Colloq.]

To go to rack, to perish; to be destroyed. [Colloq.] ``All
goes to rack.'' --Pepys.

Rack, n. [Prob. fr. Icel. rek drift, motion, and akin to
reka to drive, and E. wrack, wreck. ?.]
Thin, flying, broken clouds, or any portion of floating vapor
in the sky. --Shak.

The winds in the upper region, which move the clouds
above, which we call the rack, . . . pass without
noise. --Bacon.

And the night rack came rolling up. --C. Kingsley.

Rack, v. i.
To fly, as vapor or broken clouds.

Rack, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Racked; p. pr. & vb. n.
Racking.] [See Rack that which stretches, or Rock, v.]
To amble fast, causing a rocking or swaying motion of the
body; to pace; -- said of a horse. --Fuller.

Rack, n.
A fast amble.

Rack, v. t. [Cf. OF. vin raqu['e] squeezed from the dregs
of the grapes.]
To draw off from the lees or sediment, as wine.

It is in common practice to draw wine or beer from the
lees (which we call racking), whereby it will clarify
much the sooner. --Bacon.

Rack vintage, wine cleansed and drawn from the lees.

Rack, n. [Probably fr. D. rek, rekbank, a rack, rekken to
stretch; akin to G. reck, reckbank, a rack, recken to
stretch, Dan. r[ae]kke, Sw. r["a]cka, Icel. rekja to spread
out, Goth. refrakjan to stretch out; cf. L. porrigere, Gr. ?.
? Cf. Right, a., Ratch.]
1. An instrument or frame used for stretching, extending,
retaining, or displaying, something. Specifically:
(a) An engine of torture, consisting of a large frame,
upon which the body was gradually stretched until,
sometimes, the joints were dislocated; -- formerly
used judicially for extorting confessions from
criminals or suspected persons.

During the troubles of the fifteenth century, a
rack was introduced into the Tower, and was
occasionally used under the plea of political
necessity. --Macaulay.
(b) An instrument for bending a bow.
(c) A grate on which bacon is laid.
(d) A frame or device of various construction for holding,
and preventing the waste of, hay, grain, etc.,
supplied to beasts.
(e) A frame on which articles are deposited for keeping or
arranged for display; as, a clothes rack; a bottle
rack, etc.
(f) (Naut.) A piece or frame of wood, having several
sheaves, through which the running rigging passes; --
called also rack block. Also, a frame to hold shot.
(g) (Mining) A frame or table on which ores are separated
or washed.
(h) A frame fitted to a wagon for carrying hay, straw, or
grain on the stalk, or other bulky loads.
(i) A distaff.

2. (Mech.) A bar with teeth on its face, or edge, to work
with those of a wheel, pinion, or worm, which is to drive
it or be driven by it.

3. That which is extorted; exaction. [Obs.] --Sir E. Sandys.

Mangle rack. (Mach.) See under Mangle. n.

Rack block. (Naut.) See def. 1
(f), above.

Rack lashing, a lashing or binding where the rope is
tightened, and held tight by the use of a small stick of
wood twisted around.

Rack rail (Railroads), a toothed rack, laid as a rail, to
afford a hold for teeth on the driving wheel of locomotive
for climbing steep gradients, as in ascending a mountain.

Rack saw, a saw having wide teeth.

Rack stick, the stick used in a rack lashing.

To be on the rack, to suffer torture, physical or mental.

To live at rack and manger, to live on the best at
another's expense. [Colloq.]

To put to the rack, to subject to torture; to torment.

A fit of the stone puts a kingto the rack, and makes
him as miserable as it does the meanest subject.
--Sir W.

Rack, v. t.
1. To extend by the application of force; to stretch or
strain; specifically, to stretch on the rack or wheel; to
torture by an engine which strains the limbs and pulls the

He was racked and miserably tormented. --Pope.

2. To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or

Vaunting aloud but racked with deep despair.

3. To stretch or strain, in a figurative sense; hence, to
harass, or oppress by extortion.

The landlords there shamefully rack their tenants.

They [landlords] rack a Scripture simile beyond the
true intent thereof. --Fuller.

Try what my credit can in Venice do; That shall be
racked even to the uttermost. --Shak.

4. (Mining) To wash on a rack, as metals or ore.

5. (Naut.) To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns
of yarn, marline, etc.

To rack one's brains or wits, to exert them to the utmost
for the purpose of accomplishing something.

Syn: To torture; torment; rend; tear.

Synonyms: excruciate, extort, gouge, scud, single-foot, single-foot, stand, torment, torture, wheel, wrack, wring

See Also: anguish, barbecue, barbeque, bicycle rack, bier, bleed, carrier, clutch, coatrack, crown roast, cruet-stand, cut, cut of meat, demolition, destruction, dish rack, draw, dress rack, excruciate, fleece, fly, frame, framework, framing, gait, gazump, hatrack, hayrack, hook, hurt, instrument of torture, magazine rack, music rack, music stand, overcharge, pace, pain, pipe rack, plate rack, pluck, plume, prehend, process, put to work, rack of lamb, rob, sail, seize, soak, spice rack, spit, strain, stress, stretch, support, surcharge, take out, tie rack, toastrack, torment, torture, towel horse, towel rack, tripod, try, wing, work, work, work on

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