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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a bike rack (=a metal frame that you can attach your bike to)
▪ All stations should provide bike racks for passengers.
a wire rack
▪ Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
be consumed with/racked with/overwhelmed by guilt (=feel very guilty)
▪ Later he was horrified that he had hit her, and was racked by guilt.
coat rack
luggage rack
rack your brains (=try very hard to think of something)
▪ If we all rack our brains we should come up with some ideas.
▪ Heater too close to coat rack. 7.
▪ The desk is a typical lawyer desk but in miniature, and the coat rack is knee-high.
▪ Even the luggage racks contained their quota of sailors, soldiers, or airmen.
▪ Each day now Phagu went scouting in the jeep, Kamesh driving, he and I perched up on the luggage rack.
▪ He loaded the bags on to the luggage rack of the Argyll.
▪ I arrived at the station in good time and chained my travel-bag to the luggage rack.
▪ Secondly, I want a good ¾ length roof rack for my vehicle but can only locate rather basic utilitarian models.
▪ People climbed over the bonnet or sat on the roof rack.
▪ Stacked on the floor around their legs was all the luggage that wouldn't fit on the roof rack.
▪ A Hillman Imp, a roof rack, the beak of an upturned canoe overshooting its windscreen.
▪ The roof rack was a test item and did not prove successful.
▪ Harvey connected the roof rack to two batteries.
▪ The lights fixed to the roof rack came on, but paper cones prevented them from being visible from the shore line.
▪ Place the frozen truffles on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
▪ Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack.
▪ Run a blunt knife around the inside edge of the tin and turn out the cake on to a wire rack to cool.
▪ Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
▪ Turn out on to wire rack. 3.
▪ Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely on wire rack.
▪ Leave the florentines on a wire rack to set.
▪ Place ginger on a wire rack to dry for at least an hour.
▪ a bicycle rack
▪ a spice rack
▪ Let the cake cool on a rack for ten minutes.
▪ Make sure the pans are in the center of the rack to allow heat to circulate around them.
▪ Place the frozen truffles on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
▪ Swap for rack mounted sound module.
▪ There are racks and racks of romantic writers and readers online.
▪ There is a pool then a typical rack to Inverlaidnan Bridge.
▪ What I hear you saying is that I have lived my life as if I bought my clothes off the rack.
▪ When the fire is hot, lay the mushrooms on the rack.
▪ Salomon Brothers paid the ten-thousand-dollar bill racked up by the wife of its mailroom clerk with three months' tenure.
▪ The Red Baron was through a month or two back, racking up his score.
▪ He had a racked up a mostly forgettable record in two terms as a Republican backbencher in Reagan-era Washington.
▪ After a rough start, he racked up a terrific year in 1996.
▪ CyberCash has racked up a few big customers recently, however.
▪ Even without the Pombo bill, industry groups have already racked up a string of victories.
▪ A legal background can help you rack up bonus points in your job search.
▪ Which left Fabia racking her brains to think of how next best to get through to the woman.
▪ She sat back in the seat as she racked her brain before coming to just one conclusion: Harry Martin.
▪ There was a silence in the room as we all simultaneously racked our brains for a missing disease.
▪ Rachel racked her brains, trying to remember what Jamie had said of him - ruthless, living only for his ambition.
▪ I waved back, racking my brains to remember who she was.
▪ If Liza had been racked by guilt, now, in a way, so was she.
▪ Among them was Carmen Azzopardi, who had been racked with guilt after turning down a request from Bernadette to mind Farrah.
▪ I did some bad stuff to some people to prove myself, but I was racked with guilt.
▪ Adobe racked up $ 46. 9 million in licensing revenues during its latest quarter.
▪ Everyone could feel the abnormal strains that were now racking the monied world.
▪ Her face was racked with pain and it was clear that she was very ill.
▪ If Liza had been racked by guilt, now, in a way, so was she.
▪ Other times he thrashed all night, thinking nothing, his body cramping, dry, racked, beside itself.
▪ Sharp pains racked his wasting body.
▪ Without it, she was racked by a feeling of utter desolation.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Rack \Rack\ (r[a^]k), 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 joints.

    He was racked and miserably tormented.

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

    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 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.

  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 To rack one's brains out or To rack one's wits, to exert one's thinking processes to the utmost for the purpose of accomplishing something; as, I racked my brains out trying to find a way to solve the problem.

    Syn: To torture; torment; rend; tear.


Rack \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. 'ore`gein. [root]115. Cf. Right, a., Ratch.]

  1. An instrument or frame used for stretching, extending, retaining, or displaying, something. Specifically:

    1. 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.

    2. An instrument for bending a bow.

    3. A grate on which bacon is laid.

    4. A frame or device of various construction for holding, and preventing the waste of, hay, grain, etc., supplied to beasts.

    5. A frame on which articles are deposited for keeping or arranged for display; as, a clothes rack; a bottle rack, etc.

    6. (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.

    7. (Mining) A frame or table on which ores are separated or washed.

    8. A frame fitted to a wagon for carrying hay, straw, or grain on the stalk, or other bulky loads.

    9. 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 a 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 king to the rack, and makes him as miserable as it does the meanest subject.
    --Sir W. Temple.


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


Rack \Rack\, n. [Prob. fr. Icel. rek drift, motion, and akin to reka to drive, and E. wrack, wreck. [root]282.] 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.
--C. Kingsley.


Rack \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.''


Rack \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 \Rack\ (r[a^]k), n. Same as Arrack.


Rack \Rack\, v. t. [Cf. OF. vin raqu['e] wine 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.

Rack vintage, wine cleansed and drawn from the lees.


Rack \Rack\, n. A fast amble.


Rack \Rack\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Racked (r[a^]kt); 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.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

type of gait of a horse, 1580s, from rack (v.) "move with a fast, lively gait" 1520s in this sense (implied in racking), of unknown origin; perhaps from French racquassure "racking of a horse in his pace," itself of unknown origin. Or perhaps a variant of rock (v.1).


"clouds driven before the wind," c.1300, also "rush of wind, collision, crash," originally a northern word, possibly from Old English racu "cloud" (or an unrecorded Scandinavian cognate of it), reinforced by Old Norse rek "wreckage, jetsam," or by influence of Old English wræc "something driven;" from Proto-Germanic *wrakaz, from PIE root *wreg- "to push, shove, drive" (see urge (v.)). Often confused with wrack (n.), especially in phrase rack and ruin (1590s). The distinction is that rack is "driven clouds;" wrack is "seaweed cast up on shore."


"frame with bars," c.1300, possibly from Middle Dutch rec "framework," literally "something stretched out, related to recken (modern rekken) "stretch out," cognate with Old English reccan "to stretch out," from Proto-Germanic *rak- (cognates: Old Saxon rekkian, Old Frisian reza, Old Norse rekja, Old High German recchen, German recken, Gothic uf-rakjan "to stretch out"), from PIE *rog-, from root *reg- "to move in a straight line" (see regal).\n

\nMeaning "instrument of torture" first recorded early 15c., perhaps from German rackbank, originally an implement for stretching leather, etc. Mechanical meaning "toothed bar" is from 1797 (see pinion). Meaning "set of antlers" is first attested 1945, American English; hence slang sense of "a woman's breasts" (especially if large), by 1991. Meaning "framework for displaying clothes" is from 1948; hence off the rack (1951) of clothing, as opposed to tailored.


"to stretch out for drying," also "to torture on the rack," early 15c., from rack (n.1). Of other pains from 1580s. Figurative sense of "to torment" is from c.1600. Meaning "raise above a fair level" (of rent, etc.) is from 1550s. Meaning "fit with racks" is from 1580s. Teenager slang meaning "to sleep" is from 1960s (rack (n.) was Navy slang for "bed" in 1940s). Related: Racked; racking. Rack up "register, accumulate, achieve" is first attested 1943 (in "Billboard"), probably from method of keeping score in pool halls.


"cut of animal meat and bones," 1560s, of unknown origin; perhaps from some resemblance to rack (n.1). Compare rack-bone "vertebrae" (1610s).


Etymology 1 n. 1 A series of one or more shelf, stacked one above the other 2 Any of various kinds of frame for holding clothes, bottles, animal fodder, mined ore, shot on a vessel, etc. 3 (context nautical English) A piece or frame of wood, having several sheaves, through which the running rigging passes; called also rack block. 4 A distaff. 5 A bar with tooth on its face or edge, to work with those of a gearwheel, pinion#Etymology 2, or worm, which is to drive or be driven by it. 6 A bar with teeth on its face or edge, to work with a pawl as a ratchet allowing movement in one direction only, used for example in a handbrake or crossbow. 7 A device, incorporating a ratchet, used to torture victims by stretching them beyond their natural limits. 8 A cranequin, a mechanism including a rack, pinion and pawl, providing both mechanical advantage and a ratchet, used to bend and cock#Verb a crossbow. 9 A pair of antlers (as on deer, moose or elk). 10 A cut of meat involving several adjacent ribs. 11 (context billiards snooker pool English) A hollow triangle used for aligning the balls at the start of a game. 12 (context slang vulgar English) A woman's breasts. 13 (context climbing caving English) A friction device for abseiling, consisting of a frame with 5 or more metal bars, around which the rope is threaded. Also ''rappel rack'', ''abseil rack''. 14 (context climbing slang English) A climber's set of equipment for setting up protection and belays, consisting of runners, slings, karabiners, nuts, Friends, etc. 15 A grate on which bacon is laid. 16 (context obsolete English) That which is extorted; exaction. vb. 1 To place in or hang on a rack. 2 To torture (someone) on the rack. 3 To cause (someone) to suffer pain. 4 (context figurative English) To stretch or strain; to harass, or oppress by extortion. 5 (context billiards snooker pool English) To put the balls into the triangular rack and set them in place on the table. 6 (context slang English) To strike a male in the groin with the knee. 7 To (manually) load (a round of ammunition) from the magazine or belt into firing position in an automatic or semiautomatic firearm. 8 (context mining English) To wash (metals, ore, etc.) on a rack. 9 (context nautical English) To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns of yarn, marline, etc. Etymology 2

vb. stretch joints of a person Etymology 3

n. Thin, flying, broken clouds, or any portion of floating vapour in the sky. vb. To fly, as vapour or broken clouds Etymology 4

vb. (context brewing English) To clarify, and thereby deter further fermentation of, beer, wine or cider by draining or siphoning it from the dregs. Etymology 5

n. A fast amble. vb. (context of a horse English) To amble fast, causing a rocking or swaying motion of the body; to pace. Etymology 6

n. (context obsolete English) A wreck; destruction.

  1. n. framework for holding objects

  2. rib section of a forequarter of veal or pork or especially lamb or mutton

  3. the destruction or collapse of something; "wrack and ruin" [syn: wrack]

  4. an instrument of torture that stretches or disjoints or mutilates victims [syn: wheel]

  5. a support for displaying various articles; "the newspapers were arranged on a rack" [syn: stand]

  6. a rapid gait of a horse in which each foot strikes the ground separately [syn: single-foot]

  1. v. go at a rack; "the horses single-footed" [syn: single-foot]

  2. stretch to the limits; "rack one's brains"

  3. put on a rack and pinion; "rack a camera"

  4. 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" [syn: extort, squeeze, gouge, wring]

  5. run before a gale [syn: scud]

  6. fly in high wind

  7. draw off from the lees; "rack wine"

  8. torment emotionally or mentally [syn: torment, torture, excruciate]

  9. work on a rack; "rack leather"

  10. seize together, as of parallel ropes of a tackle in order to prevent running through the block

  11. torture on the rack


Rack or racks may refer to:

RACK (disambiguation)

RACK may refer to:

  • Rackable Systems, whose former NASDAQ ticker symbol was RACK until it renamed itself Silicon Graphics International with ticker symbol SGI
  • Risk-aware consensual kink
  • Receptor for Activated C-Kinase, a protein receptor that binds protein kinase c

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Rack (torture)

The rack is a torture device consisting of a rectangular, usually wooden frame, slightly raised from the ground, with a roller at one or both ends. The victim's ankles are fastened to one roller and the wrists are chained to the other. As the interrogation progresses, a handle and ratchet mechanism attached to the top roller are used to very gradually increase the tension on the chains, inducing excruciating pain. By means of pulleys and levers this roller could be rotated on its own axis, thus straining the ropes until the sufferer's joints were dislocated and eventually separated. Additionally, if muscle fibres are stretched excessively, they lose their ability to contract, rendering them ineffective.

One gruesome aspect of being stretched too far on the rack is the loud popping noises made by snapping cartilage, ligaments or bones. One powerful method for putting pressure upon prisoners was to force them to watch someone else being subjected to the rack. Confining the prisoner on the rack enabled further tortures to be simultaneously applied, typically including burning the flanks with hot torches or candles or using pincers made with specially roughened grips to tear out the nails of the fingers and toes. Usually, the victim's shoulders and hips would be separated and their elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles would be dislocated.

Rack (billiards)

A rack (sometimes known as a triangle) is the name given to a frame (usually wood, plastic or metal) used to organize billiard balls at the beginning of a game. Rack may also be used as a verb to describe the act of setting billiard balls in starting position in billiards games that make use of racks (usually, but not always, using a physical rack), as well as a noun to describe the balls in that starting position.

The most common shape of a physical rack is that of a triangle, with the ball pattern of 5-4-3-2-1. Racks are sometimes called simply "triangles" (most often by amateur shooters) based on the predominance of this form. Triangular-shaped racks are used for eight-ball, straight pool, one-pocket, bank pool, snooker and many other games. Although diamond-shaped racks, with an intended pattern of 1-2-3-2-1, are made for the game of nine-ball, the triangular rack is more often employed in nine ball as well.

Rack (web server interface)

Rack provides a modular and adaptable interface for developing web applications in Ruby. By wrapping HTTP requests and responses it unifies the API for web servers, web frameworks, and software in between (called middleware) into a single method call.

Rack is used by many Ruby web frameworks and libraries, such as Ruby On Rails and Sinatra. It is available as a Ruby Gem.

Rack has already inspired a JavaScript framework (jackjs) and a Perl one ( Plack), a Common Lisp one (Clack), and has resulted in the Ruby developer quasi-standard of "rack-compliant".

It was also cited as an inspiration for OWIN.

Usage examples of "rack".

A single laser-guided missile dropped from the racks and accelerated at four thousand gravities.

There are several telephones, seven or eight chairs, two racks on wheels that contain all the charts, and an Addressograph machine used when we order lab studies, X-rays, or tests on patients.

Band-Aids, and the ailing plant Jenks had rescued from the half-price rack in the tiny floral department.

Her expression was grim, but she showed no surprise when he shrugged out of his tunic, squirmed into a padded buckram aketon, and lifted his scale shirt from its rack.

In his dreams he was watching his father from six-year-old eyes, submerged to test depth on the old sub his father had commanded, and in the mirror was a child staring back at him wearing coveralls with a dolphin pin, and he went into the stateroom and Alameda was there, wearing something filmy and she began kissing him and she climbed into his rack with him.

How embarrassing would that be, he thought in panic, if Alameda had heard him moaning her name while he was in the lower rack mere inches from her fold-down desk while she pulled an allnighter on her engineering paperwork?

Then the memory passed and Alman, weak from privations and older than his years, hunched in on himself in a series of racking coughs.

While Weston was studying the lights in the grill room, Cranston took the alpaca coat and hung it on the rack in a dark corner.

Full of amorous wishes and having to be content with the teasing pleasure of seeing one another through a wretched grating, we racked our brains to find out some way to be alone together to do what we liked, without any risk.

I may observe that on this occasion we had an opportunity of ascertaining that good Burgundy, well racked off, and in casks hermetically sealed, does not lose its quality on a sea voyage.

Hanging from an obscure rack, the searcher discovered back numbers of the Avifauna Journal.

He spoke of these things to Susan Bates with such an increasing frequency and insistency as almost to transfer the rack of them from his own brain to hers.

O Eldest-born of the Unconscious Cause-- If such thou beest, as I can fancy thee-- Why dost thou rack him thus?

The picture of open jaws and fangs suddenly reminded him with considerable force of his nerve racking brush with the beisa oryx.

Bellis blenched when that began, remembering the misery of the nightmares that had racked New Crobuzon and that ultimately had led her here.