[rack] n [ME rak, prob. of Scand origin; akin to Sw dial. rak wreck; akin to OE wrecan to drive--more at wreak] (14c): a wind-driven mass of high often broken clouds
rack vi (1590): to fly or scud in high wind rack n [ME, prob. fr. MD rec framework; akin to OE reccan to stretch, Gk oregein--more at right] (14c) 1: a framework for holding fodder for livestock
2: an instrument of torture on which a body is stretched 3 a (1): a cause of anguish or pain (2): acute suffering b: the action of straining or wrenching
4: a framework, stand, or grating on or in which articles are placed
5: a frame placed in a stream to stop fish and floating or suspended matter
6. a: a bar with teeth on one face for gearing with a pinion or worm gear to transform rotary motion to linear motion or vice versa (as in an automobile steering mechanism or microscope drawtube) b: a notched bar used as a ratchet to engage with a pawl, click, or detent 7: a pair of antlers 8: a triangular frame used to set up the balls in a pool game; also: the balls as set up -- rack.ful n -- on the rack : under great mental or emotional stress rack vt (15c) 1: to torture on the rack
2: to cause to suffer torture, pain, or anguish 3 a: to stretch or strain violently "~ed his brains" b: to raise (rents) oppressively c: to harass or oppress with high rents or extortions
4: to work or treat (material) on a rack
5: to work by a rack and pinion or worm so as to extend or contract "~ a camera"
6: to seize (as parallel ropes of a tackle) together 7: to place (as pool balls) in a rack ~ vi: to become forced out of shape or out of plumb syn see afflict -- rack.er n -- rack.ing.ly adv rack vt [ME rakken, fr. OProv arraca, fr. raca stems and husks of pressed grapes] (15c): to draw off (as wine) from the lees rack vi [prob. alter. of rock] (1530) of a horse: to go at a rack rack n (1580): either of two gaits of a horse: a: pace 4b b: a fast showy 4-beat gait rack n [perh. fr. rack] (1570) 1: the neck and spine of a forequarter of veal, pork, or esp. mutton
2: the rib section of a foresaddle of lamb used for chops or as a roast--see lamb illustration rack n [alter. of wrack] (1599): destruction "~ and ruin"