1. n. & v.
1. a a framework usu. with rails, bars, hooks, etc., for holding or storing things. b a frame for holding animal fodder.
2 a cogged or toothed bar or rail engaging with a wheel or pinion etc., or using pegs to adjust the position of something.
3 hist. an instrument of torture stretching the victim's joints by the turning of rollers to which the wrists and ankles were tied.
1. (of disease or pain) inflict suffering on.
2 hist. torture (a person) on the rack.
3 place in or on a rack.
4 shake violently.
5 injure by straining.
6 oppress (tenants) by exacting excessive rent.
7 exhaust (the land) by excessive use.
Phrases and idioms:
on the rack in distress or under strain. rack one's brains make a great mental effort (racked my brains for something to say). rack-railway a railway with a cogged rail between the bearing rails. rack-rent n.
1. a high rent, annually equalling the full value of the property to which it relates.
2 an extortionate rent.
--v.tr. exact this from (a tenant) or for (land). rack-renter a tenant paying or a landlord exacting an extortionate rent. rack-up US achieve (a score etc.). rack-wheel a cog-wheel.
Etymology: ME rakke f. MDu., MLG rak, rek, prob. f. recken stretch 2. n. destruction ( esp. rack and ruin).
Etymology: var. of WRACK, WRECK 3. n. a joint of lamb etc. including the front ribs.
Etymology: perh. f. RACK(1) 4. v.tr. (often foll. by off) draw off (wine, beer, etc.) from the lees.
Etymology: ME f. Prov. arracar f. raca stems and husks of grapes, dregs 5. n. & v.
--n. driving clouds.
--v.intr. (of clouds) be driven before the wind.
Etymology: ME, prob. of Scand. orig.: cf. Norw. and Sw. dial. rak wreckage etc. f. reka drive 6. n. & v.
--n. a horse's gait between a trot and a canter.
--v.intr. progress in this way.