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Wordnet 3.0

NOUN (7)

1. 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;
- Example: "wrack and ruin"
[syn: wrack, rack]

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

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

6. a form of torture in which pain is inflicted by stretching the body;

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


VERB (11)

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

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

3. put on a rack and pinion;
- Example: "rack a camera"

4. obtain by coercion or intimidation;
- Example: "They extorted money from the executive by threatening to reveal his past to the company boss"
- Example: "They squeezed money from the owner of the business by threatening him"
[syn: extort, squeeze, rack, gouge, wring]

5. run before a gale;
[syn: scud, rack]

6. fly in high wind;

7. draw off from the lees;
- Example: "rack wine"

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

9. work on a rack;
- Example: "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;


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Rack \Rack\, n. A fast amble. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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. [1913 Webster] It is in common practice to draw wine or beer from the lees (which we call racking), whereby it will clarify much the sooner. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] Rack vintage, wine cleansed and drawn from the lees. --Cowell. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Rack \Rack\ (r[a^]k), n. Same as Arrack. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Rack \Rack\, n. [See Wreck.] A wreck; destruction. [Obs., except in a few phrases.] [1913 Webster] Rack and ruin, destruction; utter ruin. [Colloq.] To go to rack, to perish; to be destroyed. [Colloq.] "All goes to rack." --Pepys. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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. --Shak. [1913 Webster] The winds in the upper region, which move the clouds above, which we call the rack, . . . pass without noise. --Bacon. [1913 Webster] And the night rack came rolling up. --C. Kingsley. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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[aum]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: (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. [1913 Webster] During the troubles of the fifteenth century, a rack was introduced into the Tower, and was occasionally used under the plea of political necessity. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster] (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. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 3. That which is extorted; exaction. [Obs.] --Sir E. Sandys. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Rack \Rack\, v. i. To fly, as vapor or broken clouds. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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. [1913 Webster] He was racked and miserably tormented. --Foxe. [1913 Webster] 2. To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or anguish. [1913 Webster] Vaunting aloud but racked with deep despair. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 3. To stretch or strain, in a figurative sense; hence, to harass, or oppress by extortion. [1913 Webster] The landlords there shamefully rack their tenants. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] They [landlords] rack their rents an ace too high. --Gascoigne. [1913 Webster] Grant that I may never rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof. --Fuller. [1913 Webster] Try what my credit can in Venice do; That shall be racked even to the uttermost. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 4. (Mining) To wash on a rack, as metals or ore. [1913 Webster] 5. (Naut.) To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns of yarn, marline, etc. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster +PJC] Syn: To torture; torment; rend; tear. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

rack n 1: 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, rack] 4: an instrument of torture that stretches or disjoints or mutilates victims [syn: rack, wheel] 5: a support for displaying various articles; "the newspapers were arranged on a rack" [syn: rack, stand] 6: a form of torture in which pain is inflicted by stretching the body 7: a rapid gait of a horse in which each foot strikes the ground separately [syn: rack, single-foot] v 1: go at a rack; "the horses single-footed" [syn: single- foot, rack] 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, rack, gouge, wring] 5: run before a gale [syn: scud, rack] 6: fly in high wind 7: draw off from the lees; "rack wine" 8: torment emotionally or mentally [syn: torment, torture, excruciate, rack] 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
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

357 Moby Thesaurus words for "rack": Chateaubriand, Hydromatic, Procrustean bed, adversity, afflict, affliction, agonize, agony, ail, amble, andante, anguish, archives, armory, arsenal, atrocious pain, attic, automatic transmission, bank, barge, basement, batter, bay, beat, bed of Procrustes, beleaguer, bin, bite, blade roast, bloody, bonded warehouse, bookcase, boot, bowl along, box, breast, brisket, bundle, bunker, burn, buttery, cargo dock, cellar, chafe, chest, chuck, chuck roast, claudication, claw, clawing, clod, closet, clump, cogwheel, cold cuts, confinement, conservatory, convulse, crate, crawl, creep, crib, cruciation, crucifixion, crucify, cupboard, cut, damage, dead march, depository, depot, differential, differential gear, dismember, dismemberment, distress, dock, dogtrot, drag, draw and quarter, drawer, droop, dump, estrapade, exchequer, excruciate, excruciation, fester, filet mignon, flank, flounce, foot, footpace, footslog, frame, framework, freewheel, fret, funeral march, gait, gall, galleys, gallop, gear, gear train, gearbox, gearing, gearshift, gearwheel, give pain, glory hole, gnaw, godown, grate, grill, grind, gripe, halt, harass, hard labor, harrow, haul, heave, hell, hell upon earth, high, hippety-hop, hitch, hobble, hold, holder, holocaust, hop, horror, hurt, hutch, impale, impalement, imprisonment, incarceration, inflame, inflict pain, intermediate, iron heel, irritate, jailing, jog, jog trot, jolt, jump, keelhaul, keelhauling, kill by inches, knuckle, lacerate, laceration, lancinate, lancination, leisurely gait, library, limp, lock step, locker, loin, low, lumber, lumber room, lumbering pace, lumberyard, lunge, lurch, macerate, magasin, magazine, martyr, martyrdom, martyrization, martyrize, mince, mincing steps, misery, neutral, nightmare, nip, oppress, overdrive, overexert, overexertion, overextend, overextension, overstrain, overstress, overtax, overtaxing, pace, paddle, pain, passion, peg, penal servitude, persecute, persecution, piaffe, piaffer, picket, picketing, pierce, pinch, plague, plate, plate piece, plod, pot roast, prance, press, prick, prolong the agony, pull, punish, purgatory, put to torture, railriding, rankle, rasp, repertory, repository, reservoir, reverse, rib roast, ribs, rick, rip, roast, rock pile, roll, rolled roast, round, rub, rump, rump roast, saddle, sashay, saunter, savage, scaffold, scaffolding, scarify, scarpines, scourge, screw, scuff, scuffle, scuttle, shake, shamble, shank, shelf, short ribs, shoulder, shoulder clod, shuffle, sidle, single-foot, sirloin, skip, slink, slither, slog, slouch, slow march, slow motion, slowness, stab, stack, stack room, stagger, stalk, stamp, stand, standard transmission, step, stick shift, sting, stock room, stomp, storage, store, storehouse, storeroom, straddle, straggle, strain, strain every nerve, straining, strappado, stress, stress and strain, stressfulness, stretch, stretcher, stride, stroll, strolling gait, structure, strut, stump, suffering, supply base, supply depot, support, swagger, sweat blood, swing, synchromesh, tank, tar and feather, tar-and-feathering, tax, taxing, tenderloin, tense, tension, the gantlet, thumbscrew, tittup, toddle, torment, torture, totter, traipse, transmission, tread, treasure house, treasure room, treasury, trestle, trip, trot, trudge, try, tug, tweak, twist, vat, vault, velocity, waddle, walk, wamble, warehouse, wheel, wiggle, wine cellar, wobble, wound, wrench, wring
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

RACK, punishments. An engine with which to torture a supposed criminal, in order to extort a confession of his supposed crime, and the names of his supposed accomplices. Unknown in the United States. 2. This instrument, known by the nickname of the Duke of Exeter's daughter, was in use in England. Barr. on the Stat. 866 12 S. & R. 227.
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):

RACK, n. An argumentative implement formerly much used in persuading devotees of a false faith to embrace the living truth. As a call to the unconverted the rack never had any particular efficacy, and is now held in light popular esteem.