Meaning of RACK in English

I. ˈrak noun

Etymology: Middle English rak rain cloud, rapid movement

Date: 14th century

: a wind-driven mass of high often broken clouds

II. intransitive verb

Date: 1590

: to fly or scud in high wind

III. noun

Etymology: Middle English, probably from Middle Dutch rec framework; akin to Old English reccan to stretch, Greek oregein — more at right

Date: 14th century

1. : a framework for holding fodder for livestock

2. : an instrument of torture on which a body is stretched



(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


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)

b. : a notched bar used as a ratchet to engage with a pawl, click, or detent

6. : a pair of antlers

7. : a triangular frame used to set up the balls in a pool game ; also : the balls as set up

8. : bed , sack

• rack·ful -ˌfu̇l noun

- on the rack

IV. verb

Date: 15th century

transitive verb

1. : to torture on the rack

2. : to cause to suffer torture, pain, anguish, or ruin

rack ed with jealousy

a company rack ed by infighting


a. : to stretch or strain violently

rack 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

rack a camera

6. : to seize (as parallel ropes of a tackle) together

7. : to place (as pool balls) in a rack

intransitive verb

: to become forced out of shape or out of plumb

Synonyms: see afflict

• rack·er noun

• rack·ing·ly ˈra-kiŋ-lē adverb

V. transitive verb

Etymology: Middle English rakken, from Old French (Norman & Picard dialect) reequier, probably from Late Latin reaedificare to rebuild, repair, improve, from Latin re- + aedificare to build — more at edify

Date: 15th century

: to draw off (as wine) from the lees

VI. intransitive verb

Etymology: probably alteration of rock (I)

Date: 1530

of a horse : to go at a rack

VII. noun

Date: 1580

: either of two gaits of a horse:

a. : pace 4b

b. : a fast showy 4-beat gait

VIII. noun

Etymology: perhaps from rack (III)

Date: 1570

1. : the neck and spine of a forequarter of veal, pork, or especially mutton

2. : the rib section of a lamb's forequarters used for chops or as a roast — see lamb illustration

IX. noun

Etymology: alteration of wrack

Date: 1592

: destruction

rack and ruin

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.