• General Tool rack in a School Shop
    General Tool rack in a School Shop
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v rack torture on the rack
    • v rack seize together, as of parallel ropes of a tackle in order to prevent running through the block
    • v rack work on a rack "rack leather"
    • v rack stretch to the limits "rack one's brains"
    • v rack torment emotionally or mentally
    • v rack draw off from the lees "rack wine"
    • v rack fly in high wind
    • v rack run before a gale
    • v rack go at a rack "the horses single-footed"
    • v rack obtain by coercion or intimidation "They extorted money from the executive by threatening to reveal his past to the company boss","They squeezed money from the owner of the business by threatening him"
    • v rack put on a rack and pinion "rack a camera"
    • n rack a rapid gait of a horse in which each foot strikes the ground separately
    • n rack a form of torture in which pain is inflicted by stretching the body
    • n rack a support for displaying various articles "the newspapers were arranged on a rack"
    • n rack framework for holding objects
    • n rack an instrument of torture that stretches or disjoints or mutilates victims
    • n rack the destruction or collapse of something "wrack and ruin"
    • n rack rib section of a forequarter of veal or pork or especially lamb or mutton
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Towel Rack Towel Rack
Rocking-Chair, Towel Rack, and Chair Rocking-Chair, Towel Rack, and Chair
Detail of the Magazine Rack Detail of the Magazine Rack
Magazine Rack Complete Magazine Rack Complete
Detail of Plate Rack Detail of Plate Rack
Dining-Room Plate Rack Dining-Room Plate Rack
Dining-tent, handy racks, and log bedstead Dining-tent, handy racks, and log bedstead

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There is a type of coffin made that can be used as a wine rack or picnic table before its final use
    • Rack (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.
    • Rack A distaff.
    • n Rack A fast amble.
    • Rack A frame fitted to a wagon for carrying hay, straw, or grain on the stalk, or other bulky loads.
    • Rack A frame on which articles are deposited for keeping or arranged for display; as, a clothes rack; a bottle rack, etc.
    • Rack A frame or device of various construction for holding, and preventing the waste of, hay, grain, etc., supplied to beasts.
    • Rack A frame or table on which ores are separated or washed.
    • Rack A grate on which bacon is laid.
    • Rack 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.
    • n Rack A wreck; destruction.
    • Rack 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.
    • Rack An instrument for bending a bow.
    • Rack An instrument or frame used for stretching, extending, retaining, or displaying, something.
    • n Rack răk Same as Arrack.
    • Rack That which is extorted; exaction. "A fit of the stone puts a king to the rack , and makes him as miserable as it does the meanest subject."
    • n Rack The neck and spine of a fore quarter of veal or mutton.
    • n Rack Thin, flying, broken clouds, or any portion of floating vapor in the sky. "The winds in the upper region, which move the clouds above, which we call the rack , . . . pass without noise.""And the night rack came rolling up."
    • v. i Rack To amble fast, causing a rocking or swaying motion of the body; to pace; -- said of a horse.
    • Rack (Naut) To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns of yarn, marline, etc.
    • v. t Rack 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."
    • Rack 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 joints. "He was racked and miserably tormented."
    • v. i Rack To fly, as vapor or broken clouds.
    • Rack 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 their rents an ace too high.""Grant that I may never rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof.""Try what my credit can in Venice do;
      That shall be racked even to the uttermost."
    • Rack To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or anguish. "Vaunting aloud but racked with deep despair."
    • Rack (Mining) To wash on a rack, as metals or ore.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: You can now buy a coffin which can be used as a wine rack, table, and / or bookcase before you are buried in it.
    • rack To stretch; stretch out; strain by force or violence; extend by stretching or straining.
    • rack To strain so as to rend; wrench by strain or jar; rend; disintegrate; disjoint: as, a racking cough; to rack a ship to pieces by slanting shot.
    • rack To torture by violent stretching; stretch on a frame by means of a windlass; subject to the punishment of the rack. See rack, n., 2 .
    • rack Hence To put in torment; affect with great pain or distress; torture in anyway; disturb violently.
    • rack To strain with anxiety, eagerness, curiosity, or the like; subject to strenuous effort or intense feeling; worry; agitate: as, to rack one's invention or memory.
    • rack To stretch or draw out of normal condition or relation; strain beyond measure or propriety; wrest; warp; distort; exaggerate; overstrain: chiefly in figurative uses.
    • rack To exact or obtain by rapacity; get or gain in excess or wrongfully. See rack-rent.
    • rack To subject to extortion; practise rapacity upon; oppress by exaction.
    • rack In mining, to wash on the rack. See rack, n., 5 .
    • rack To place on or in a rack or frame made for the purpose, either for storage or for temporary need, as for draining, drying, or the like.
    • rack To form into or as if into a rack or grating; give the appearance of a rack to.
    • rack Nautical, to seize together with cross-turns, as two ropes.
    • n rack A bar.
    • n rack A frame or apparatus for stretching or straining. Specifically— A windlass or winch for bending a bow; the part of the crossbow in which the gaffle moved. Halliwell.
    • n rack An instrument of torture by means of which the limbs were pulled in different directions, so that the whole body was subjected to a great tension, suffcient sometimes to cause the bones to leave their sockets. The form of application of the torture differed at different times. The rack consisted essentially of a platform on which the body was laid, having at one end a fixed bar to which one pair of limbs was fastened, and at the other end a movable bar to which the other limbs were fastened, and which could be forcibly pulled away from the fixed bar or rolled on its own axis by means of a windlass. See judicial torture, under torture.
    • n rack Punishment by the rack, or by some similar means of torture.
    • n rack Hence A state of torture or extreme suffering, physical or mental; great pain; rending anxiety; anguish. See on the rack, below.
    • n rack A grating or open framework of bars, wires, or pegs on or in which articles are arranged or deposited: much used in composition, as in bottle-rack, card-rack, hat-rack, letter-rack, etc. Specifically— A grating on which bacon is laid.
    • n rack An openwork siding, high and flaring outward, placed on a wagon for the conveyance of hay or straw, grain in the sheaf, or other light and bulky material.
    • n rack In printing, an upright framework, with side-cleats or other supports, for the storing of cases, of boards or galleys of type, etc.: distinguished as case-rack galley-rack. etc.
    • n rack Nautical, a fair-leader for a running rigging.
    • n rack The cobiron of a grate.
    • n rack A framework for a table aboard ship to hold dishes, etc., so as to keep them from sliding or falling off: same as fiddle, 2.
    • n rack A frame for holding round shot in holes; a shot-rack.
    • n rack In metallurgy, an inclined wooden table on which fine ore is washed on a small scale. It is one of the various simpler forms of the buddle.
    • n rack In woolen-cloth manuf., a frame in a stove or room heated by steam-pipes on which the cloth is stretched tightly after washing with fullers' earth.
    • n rack In organbuilding, one of the thin boards, with perforations, which support the upper part of the feet of the pipes.
    • n rack In machinery, a straight or very slightly curved metallic bar, with teeth on one of its edges, adapted to work into the teeth of a wheel, pinion, or endless screw, for converting a circular into a rectilinear motion, or vice versa. If the rack is curved, it is called a segment-rack. If the teeth aro placed on the rack obliquely and it is used with a worm instead of a wheel, it forms a rack-and-worm gear; In the cut, a is the worm, b the rack, and c a friction-wheel on which the back of b rolls, and which holds b intermeshed with adjective See also cut under mutilated.
    • n rack An anglers' creel or fish-basket.
    • n rack A fish-weir.
    • n rack A measure of lacework counting 240 meshes perpendicularly.
    • n rack Reach: as, to work by rack of eye (that is. to be guided by the eye in working).
    • n rack That which is extorted; exaction.
    • n rack The neck and spine of a fore quarter of veal or mutton, or the neck of mutton or pork.
    • rack To drive; move; go forward rapidly; stir.
    • rack To drive, as flying clouds.
    • n rack Thin flying broken clouds; especially, detached fragments of raggy cloud, commonly occurringwith rain-clouds.
    • n rack Same as wrack: now used in the phrases to go to rack, to go to rack and ruin.
    • n rack A rude narrow path, like the track of a small animal.
    • n rack A rut in a road.
    • rack A dialectal form of reck.
    • rack To relate; tell.
    • rack To move with the gait called a rack.
    • n rack A gait of the horse between a trot and a gallop (or canter), in which the fore feet move as in a slow gallop, while the hind feet move as in a trot (or pace). It is usually an artificial gait, but is sometimes hereditary or natural. There is much confusion of terms in respect to this gait, due to the fact that the gait itself is somewhat varied, according as the racker carries the one or the other fore foot foremost in the galloping motion of the fore feet; that many confound the rack with the pace, the two words often being used as synonymous; and that many have mistaken the use of the words pace and amble. There is abundant evidence that the American “pace” of to-day is the “amble” of Europeȧns of the last century and earlier. The motion of the hind feet is the same in the trot, the pace, and the rack. In the trot the diagonal hind and fore feet move nearly simultaneously. In the pace or amble the hind and fore feet of the same side move nearly simultaneously. See cut in next column.
    • n rack A distaff; a rock.
    • rack To draw off from the lees; draw off, as pure liquor from its sediment: as, to rack cider or wine; to rack off liquor.
    • n rack Same as arrack.
    • n rack A liquor made chiefly of brandy, sugar, lemons (or other fruit), and spices.
    • n rack A young rabbit. See the quotation.
    • rack To move by means of a rack and pinion.
    • n rack A screen composed of parallel narrow strips of plank or iron, occupying a vertical or slightly inclined position and placed across a canal, flume, or mill-race, for the purpose of preventing floating objects from entering the canal or flume.
    • n rack plural The sheet piling on the sides of a ferry-slip which serves as a buffer for the boats coming into the slip.
    • n rack A horse all skin and bone; a rackabones; also the bones of a dead horse used for various purposes by knackers.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The British import Spirograph was introduced in the United States in 1967 by Kenner and has racked up millions of dollars in sales. It was invented by a British electronics engineer, Denys Fisher, who was inspired to create the toy while doing research on a new design for bomb detonators for NATO.
    • n Rack rak an instrument for racking or extending: an engine for stretching the body in order to extort a confession, hence (fig.) extreme pain, anxiety, or doubt: a framework on which articles are arranged, as hat-rack, plate-rack, letter-rack, &c.: the grating above a manger for hay: :
    • v.t Rack to stretch forcibly: to strain: to stretch on the rack or wheel: to torture: to exhaust: to worry, agitate: to wrest, overstrain: to practise rapacity: to extort: to place in a rack or frame:
    • v.t Rack to subject to such rents
    • n Rack rak same as Wrack=Wreck—now used only in the phrases Go to rack, Go to rack and ruin.
    • n Rack rak thin or broken clouds drifting across the sky
    • v.i Rack to drift, to drive
    • v.t Rack rak to strain or draw off from the lees, as wine
    • n Rack rak (prov.) the neck and spine of a fore-quarter of veal or mutton: the neck of mutton or pork.
    • n Rack rak the gait of a horse between a trot and a gallop
    • n Rack rak same as Arrack
    • n Rack rak a young rabbit.
    • n Rack a term loosely given to various seaweeds, esp. to the Fucaceæ, common on British shores, long valuable as a source of kelp, and utilised as manure: shipwreck: ruin
    • n Rack rak (mech.) a straight bar with teeth to work into those of a wheel, pinion, or endless screw, for converting a circular into a rectilinear motion, or vice versâ
    • n Rack rak (Scot.) the course in curling
    • v.t Rack (naut.) to seize together with cross-turns, as two ropes
    • ***


  • Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
    “Towery city and branching between towers; Cuckoo-echoing, bell-swarmed, lark-charmed, rook-racked, river-rounded.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.”
  • Francoise Giroud
    Francoise Giroud
    “Off the rack solutions, like bargain basement dresses, never fit anyone.”


Rack and ruin - If something or someone goes to rack and ruin, they are utterly destroyed or wrecked.
Rack your brain - If you rack your brain, you think very hard when trying to remember something or think hard to solve a problem, findf and answer, etc. ('Rack your brains' is an alternative.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Probably fr. D. rek, rek,bank, a rack, rekken, to stretch; akin to G. reck, reck,bank, a rack, recken, to stretch, Dan. række, Sw. räcka, Icel. rekja, to spread out, Goth. refrakjan, to stretch out; cf. L. porrigere, Gr. 'ore`gein. √115. Cf. Right (a.) Ratch


In literature:

Having borne his torments with incredible patience and unshaken fortitude, he was taken from the rack and beheaded.
"Fox's Book of Martyrs" by John Foxe
He hung this and his hat on a rack and sat down in the chair opposite me.
"The Pirate of Panama" by William MacLeod Raine
Thus you may boil a Rack or Loin.
"The accomplisht cook" by Robert May
Then he stepped over to place the weapon in a rack.
"The Best Made Plans" by Everett B. Cole
Let's sift along, Rack.
"Rival Pitchers of Oakdale" by Morgan Scott
The eyes grew dark and terror-racked, and misery claimed the newborn woman.
"Janet of the Dunes" by Harriet T. Comstock
Speak, dear angel, devil, saint, witch; do not rack me with suspense.
"The Comedies of William Congreve Volume 1 [of 2]" by William Congreve
Peter Grimm halted in the vestibule, laboriously removed his rubbers, and dropped his heavy ash stick into its place on the rack.
"The Return of Peter Grimm" by David Belasco
He loudly protested his innocence, even upon the rack, where he suffered more torture than nature could support.
"Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles Mackay
Glad to have him on the rack, where she had been, she laughed at him.
"Hidden Gold" by Wilder Anthony

In poetry:

I follow and I follow,
My heart upon the rack!
I follow to Jerusalem–
The long road stretches back
"Out Of Babylon" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
We know no more, though racked with thought
Than he who, in yon châlet born,
Gives not the riddle, Life, a thought,
But lays him down and sleeps till morn.
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin
Then came a soul across those lands
Whose face was all one glad, rapt wonder,
And spake: 'The skies are ribbed with bands
Of fire, and heaven all racked with thunder.
"The Dreamers" by William Wilfred Campbell
The red moon rises as I slip back,
And the bamboo stems are swaying.
Inari was deaf--and yet the lack,
The fear and lack, are gone, and the rack,
I know not why--with praying.
"A Japanese Mother" by Cale Young Rice
The night was dark and the waves ran high,
And loud the storm-wind's roar,
And white and aghast, with one accord
The frighted seamen swore
They saw thro' the mist-rack and the rain
A ship that went before.
"The "Bride" Of Leith" by Cicely Fox Smith
Confess'd! Confess'd the guilty act! What act?
What act, my Lord, that cometh home to me
Closer than each hot word, by torment rack'd,
Flies at the bidding of false tyranny,
That makes at will the pain-wrung falsehood fact?
"Beatrice Di Tenda" by Walter Richard Cassels

In news:

Rookie Doug Martin racked up 214 total yards and two touchdowns, and the Tampa.
I told you before about a guy who stole a pig leg right out of a meat truck, and now a guy from Carlisle, Pa. Is stealing racks of ribs.
Press release submitted by The Tire Rack Street Survival.
Just inside the entrance to L'Uva, bottles of wine - all from small wineries in Italy - are displayed on wire racks.
Each rack of antlers is about who shot the deer and which year it happened.
In this installation, the customer had an equipment rack in a dedicated home theater room.
Can't find the sale racks at Saks.
PlayCore acquires bike rack maker.
It's the "Ultimate Dog Teaser" one that racked up more than 94 million views on YouTube, so chances are good you have seen it.
Racking It Up At Whistler.
Middle Atlantic Products said it now offers 3D models of its racks, cabinets, and enclosures in AutoDesk's Revit platform.
The post-Grammy week racked up 730,000 copies sold for the singer.
This year's presidential election has put the Northeast Ohio natives back on the cruelty beat with a song called "Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro".
New Units Designed for Installation in Waveform-Monitor Frames and 19-inch Standard Racks.

In science:

In the first of these axioms, the unique element c may be denoted ab , although b should not itself be regarded as an element of the rack.
Rack and quandle homology
A rack which, in addition, satisfies the following idempotency criterion is said to be a quand le.
Rack and quandle homology
A rack (or quandle) homomorphism is a function f : X −→ Y such that f (ab ) = f (a)f (b) for all a, b ∈ X .
Rack and quandle homology
Thus, there exist categories Rack and Quandle .
Rack and quandle homology
For racks with more than one orbit it follows that if x 6∼ y then Ax need not be isomorphic to Ay .
Rack and quandle homology