Rack, n. A fast amble.
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, v. t. [Cf. OF. vin
raqué 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
Rack vintage, wine cleansed and drawn from
the lees. Cowell.
Rack (răk), n. Same as
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 (răk), 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
2. To torment; to torture; to affect with
extreme pain or anguish.
Vaunting aloud but racked with deep
3. To stretch or strain, in a figurative
sense; hence, to harass, or oppress by extortion.
The landlords there shamefully rack their
They [landlords] rack their rents an ace too
Grant that I may never 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.
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
Syn. -- To torture; torment; rend; tear.
Rack, n. [Prob. fr. Icel. rek
drift, motion, and akin to reka to drive, and E. wrack,
wreck. √282.] 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
And the night rack came rolling up.
Rack, v. i. To fly, as vapor or
Rack, v. i. [imp. & p.
p. Racked (răkt); 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
Rack, n. [Probably fr. D. rek,
rekbank, a rack, rekken to stretch; akin to G.
reck, reckbank, 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.] 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.
(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 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.