There are 5 definitions of rack in English:

rack1

Line breaks: rack

noun

1A framework, typically with rails, bars, hooks, or pegs, for holding or storing things: a spice rack a letter rack
More example sentences
  • Plenty of magazines line the racks in the grocery stores.
  • Knowing your store has a magazine rack with a fresh selection of popular titles gives your customers yet another reason to stop by.
  • This autumn you will have to wade through Harris Tweed fashion features in the top style magazines and on the racks of the most expensive designer stores.
Synonyms
framework, frame, stand, holder, shelf, form, trestle, support, bin, box, bunker, container, structure
1.1A stack of digital effects units for a guitar or other instrument.
More example sentences
  • Glenn Jones totes a collection of obscure vintage guitars behind a huge rack of FX units seemingly fashioned from some drawers and a Zimmer frame.
  • ‘Where is the Line’ is a mishmash of ideas, sounding like a fight between a choir and a rack of effects boxes, with neither winning.
  • There were none of the backing tapes, racks of digital effects and other complex electronic gadgetry of which Tony is so fond.
1.2A vertically barred frame for holding animal fodder: a hay rack
More example sentences
  • Stalls should be equipped with a rack for hay, a trough or box for grain, and a water pail holder.
  • We found that placing a bale rack inside the tank keeps cows and calves out of the tank.
  • It's been done out rather stylishly, but still feels rustic, with original limewashed stone walls, and the stalls and hay rack are still there.
2A cogged or toothed bar or rail engaging with a wheel or pinion, or using pegs to adjust the position of something: a steering rack
More example sentences
  • Engines had a cogged pinion wheel that engaged the rack, helping them climb the slopes.
  • The steering rack on a car without power steering has just two pieces: the rack and the pinion gear.
  • Coupling rods from this main axle also provide power to the two pairs of carrying wheels, through which the power is transmitted where the rack is not in use.
3 (the rack) historical An instrument of torture consisting of a frame on which the victim was stretched by turning rollers to which the wrists and ankles were tied.
More example sentences
  • When we finally emerged from the cave after an eight-hour trip it was as if we had spent the last eight hours on that medieval instrument of torture, the rack.
  • One is not bound to regard torture as only present in a mediaeval dungeon where the appliances of rack and thumbscrew or similar devices were employed.
  • Confessions were extracted and signed on the rack, and used in the place of truth.
4A triangular structure for positioning the balls in pool.
More example sentences
  • Megan put her and Alysha's balls in the racks.
  • The balls are gathered in the triangle rack with the black eight-ball in the middle.
4.1A single game of pool.
More example sentences
  • If you fail in the first rack of the inning, the inning is over.
  • I've seen Don run over 40 racks in nine ball, says Fred Whalen.
  • I ran three racks, missed one ball, and got beat five to four.
5North American informal A woman’s breasts: that chick’s got a nice rack
6North American A set of antlers: moose have the most impressive racks of all the antlered animals
More example sentences
  • Bulls and cows in the Tsaatan herd grow velvety racks of antlers.
  • Such skulls, with their enormous racks of antlers, adorn the walls of castles and hunting lodges throughout Ireland.
  • An adjoining room is littered with mementos of more recent island history: a rack of antlers, a rusty plow, and an old dentist's chair.
7North American informal A bed.
More example sentences
  • They ‘hot-bunk’ - sharing the use of a rack with a shipmate working an alternate watch.
  • One morning during a heavy rain we shoved our racks to the bulkheads and turned our barracks into a mini-drill-field and practiced close order drill.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1 (also wrack) Cause extreme pain, anguish, or distress to: he was racked with guilt
More example sentences
  • The very instant he touched it, his whole body was wracked by pain.
  • He blinked as pain wracked his body and paralyzed him momentarily.
  • The anguish that she felt came pouring out and she cried, shuddering as the sobs wracked her body.
Synonyms
torment, afflict, torture, pain, agonize, cause agony/suffering/pain to, harrow, pierce, stab, wound, crucify; plague, bedevil, persecute, harass, distress, trouble, worry; convulse
literary rend
1.1 historical Torture (someone) on the rack.
More example sentences
  • He also was into voyeurism and bondage, it seems, and liked nothing more than to watch naked men being racked and tortured in the dungeons.
2 [with object and adverbial of place] Place in or on a rack: the shoes were racked neatly beneath the dresses
More example sentences
  • But here, the storage space is maximised with a built in rail and an ingenious shoe racking system.
  • She racked the mike and went back to where Riley lay pale and still on the wet tarmac.
  • Hey, I have a record out, too, and they rack it in the same rack.
3Move by a rack and pinion.
4chiefly archaic Raise (rent) above a fair or normal amount. See also rack rent.
4.1Oppress (a tenant) by exacting excessive rent.

Origin

Middle English: from Middle Dutch rec, Middle Low German rek 'horizontal bar or shelf', probably from recken 'to stretch, reach' (possibly the source of sense 1 of the verb).

Usage

The relationship between the forms rack and wrack is complicated. The most common noun sense of rack, ‘a framework for holding and storing things’, is always spelled rack, never wrack. In the phrase rack something up the word is also always spelled rack. Figurative senses of the verb, deriving from the type of torture in which someone is stretched on a rack, can, however, be spelled either rack or wrack: thus racked with guilt or wracked with guilt; rack your brains or wrack your brains. In addition, the phrase rack and ruin can also be spelled wrack and ruin.

Phrases

go to rack (or wrack) and ruin

Gradually deteriorate in condition because of neglect; fall into disrepair.
[rack from Old English wræc 'vengeance'; related to wreak]
More example sentences
  • It went to rack and ruin 200 years later, but has now been carefully restored.
  • Over the last decade, it has gone to rack and ruin and is now a haunt for bikers and four-wheel-drive vehicles.
  • At the time I was thinking I have to stop this self - indulgent idea of being a writer because my life is going to wrack and ruin and I can't afford it.

off the rack

North American term for off the peg (see peg).
More example sentences
  • They were sophisticated, not the kind of ones you buy off the rack.
  • Like me, they buy their clothes off the rack.
  • Don't get yourself depressed searching for items of clothing that will fit you perfectly off the rack.

on the rack

Suffering intense distress or strain.
Synonyms
under pressure, under stress, under a strain, in distress; suffering, going through torture, in agony, in pain, racked with pain; in trouble, in difficulties, having problems

rack (or wrack) one's brains (or brain)

Make a great effort to think of or remember something: Meg racked her brain for inspiration
More example sentences
  • You're wracking your brains to try and remember Alan's wonderful effort now, aren't you?
  • But eventually the day was at an end… and I had to rack my brains to remember where the car was.
  • I walk towards him, wracking my brains to remember how I know him, or at the very least, a name.
Synonyms
think hard, put one's mind to something, give much thought to something, concentrate, try to remember, puzzle over something, cudgel one's brains, furrow one's brow

Phrasal verbs

rack something up

Accumulate or achieve something, typically a score or amount: Japan is racking up record trade surpluses with the United States
More example sentences
  • And he's racked up a record of 19-0, making him the local star.
  • But just in his first term he's racked up about two-thirds that much money in new debt.
  • They racked up more points in the new year then any other club, he says.
Synonyms
achieve, attain, accomplish, gain, earn, win, succeed in making, reach, make, get, obtain; accumulate, amass; score, tally, record, register, log
informal chalk up, clock up, knock up, notch up, turn in, bag

Definition of rack in:

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Word of the day abjure
Pronunciation: əbˈdʒʊə
verb
solemnly renounce (a belief, cause, or claim)

There are 5 definitions of rack in English:

rack2

Line breaks: rack

noun

A horse’s gait in which both hoofs on either side in turn are lifted almost simultaneously, and all four hoofs are off the ground together at certain moments.

verb

Back to top  
1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] (Of a horse) move with a rack gait.
2 [no object, in imperative] (rack off) Australian informal Go away: ‘Rack off mate, or you’re going to cop it,’ he bellowed
More example sentences
  • She of course has no memory whatsoever of the entire incident, and tells him to rack off.
  • The class was laughing hysterically and Bree whirled around and yelled at them to rack off.

Origin

mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of rack in:

There are 5 definitions of rack in English:

rack3

Line breaks: rack

noun

A joint of meat, typically lamb, that includes the front ribs.
More example sentences
  • The oven-roasted rack of lamb, basted with butter and meat juice during the cooking process, was tender, juicy and firm, and served on a bed of sautéd beans.
  • Nothing on the list of entrées cracks the $18 mark, despite the presence of sirloin steak, rack of lamb, trout, and salmon dishes.
  • One butcher I spoke to said that you simply could not trim a loin of pork like a rack of lamb.

Origin

late 16th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of rack in:

There are 5 definitions of rack in English:

rack4

Line breaks: rack

verb

[with object]
Draw off (wine, beer, etc.) from the sediment in the barrel: the wine is racked off into large oak casks
More example sentences
  • After, and increasingly before, malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked into barrels made of French oak, often Limousin with the typical Bordeaux barrel being called a barrique.
  • All three firms also sell wine refrigeration units and racking systems, which they ship all over the country.
  • The firm has demolished an old loading bay and store in preparation for a building to house four fermenting vessels and a barrel racking system.

Origin

late 15th century: from Provençal arracar, from raca 'stems and husks of grapes, dregs'.

Definition of rack in:

There are 5 definitions of rack in English:

rack5

Line breaks: rack

noun

variant spelling of wrack3.

verb

[no object, with adverbial of direction] archaic Back to top  
(Of a cloud) be driven before the wind: a thin shred of cloud racking across the moon

Origin

Middle English (denoting a rush or collision): probably of Scandinavian origin; compare with Norwegian and Swedish dialect rak 'wreckage', from reka 'to drive'.

Definition of rack in: