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[rak-it] /ˈræk ɪt/
a loud noise or clamor, especially of a disturbing or confusing kind; din; uproar:
The traffic made a terrible racket in the street below.
social excitement, gaiety, or dissipation.
an organized illegal activity, such as bootlegging or the extortion of money from legitimate business people by threat or violence.
a dishonest scheme, trick, business, activity, etc.:
the latest weight-reducing racket.
Usually, the rackets. organized illegal activities:
Some say that the revenue from legalized gambling supports the rackets.
  1. an occupation, livelihood, or business.
  2. an easy or profitable source of livelihood.
verb (used without object)
to make a racket or noise.
to take part in social gaiety or dissipation.
Origin of racket1
1555-65; 1890-95 for def 6; metathetic variant of dial. rattick; see rattle1
Can be confused
racket, racquet.
1. tumult, disturbance, outcry. See noise.
1, 2. tranquillity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for racketing
Historical Examples
  • She had looked as fresh as a rose through all the racketing, and when she talked about the need for rest she had smiled.

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
  • Finally Ray shut off the racketing engine and let out the rusty anchor.

  • They stayed three weeks there, racketing about to all kinds of show-places, and overdoing it, of course.

    Johnny Ludlow, Third Series Mrs. Henry Wood
  • There were no operas, no theatres, no racketing or frolicking of any sort going on.

    Folly as It Flies Fanny Fern
  • For instance, all monastic life, and the doctrine of racketing spirits from purgatory, are in conflict with faith.

    Epistle Sermons, Vol. II Martin Luther
  • There was noise and racketing behind them, but they two heard nothing.

    Romany of the Snows Gilbert Parker
  • Thirdly, I have been racketing too much, and do not feel over well.

  • Wind tore at me, racketing in my ears, drowning music of both moons and man.

  • He looks much better than when he was racketing about at Leiden.

    The Twilight of the Souls Louis Couperus
  • The racketing of the gunfire ended abruptly and the rifles were lowered again.

    Lion Loose James H. Schmitz
British Dictionary definitions for racketing


a noisy disturbance or loud commotion; clamour; din
gay or excited revelry, dissipation, etc
an illegal enterprise carried on for profit, such as extortion, fraud, prostitution, drug peddling, etc
(slang) a business or occupation: what's your racket?
  1. a medieval woodwind instrument of deep bass pitch
  2. a reed stop on an organ of deep bass pitch
(rare) (intransitive) often foll by about. to go about gaily or noisily, in search of pleasure, excitement, etc
Word Origin
C16: probably of imitative origin; compare rattle1


a bat consisting of an open network of nylon or other strings stretched in an oval frame with a handle, used to strike the ball in tennis, badminton, etc
a snowshoe shaped like a tennis racket
(transitive) to strike (a ball, shuttlecock, etc) with a racket
See also rackets
Word Origin
C16: from French raquette, from Arabic rāhat palm of the hand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for racketing



"loud noise," 1560s, perhaps imitative. Klein compares Gaelic racaid "noise." Meaning "dishonest activity" (1785) is perhaps from racquet, via notion of "game," reinforced by rack-rent "extortionate rent" (1590s), from rack (n.1).

"handled paddle or netted bat used in tennis, etc.;" see racquet.



"handled paddle or netted bat used in tennis, etc.;" see racquet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for racketing



  1. Any illegal concern or enterprise; a criminal business; dodge, grift: G Marks and Abe Cohn have a new racket now of promenading Clinton Street dock (1785+)
  2. A party or dance, esp a noisy one In recent usage this is most common among the police: passing evidence around like a pretzel tray at a retirement racket (1745+)
  3. Any concession, stand, etc (1940s+ Circus & carnival)


To lead a busy life professionally and socially: Monk's seesawing years, from 1935 to 1940, were spent racketing endlessly back and forth between Europe and New York, an itinerant pianist and boulevardier (1760+)

[fr early 1800s British underworld fr racket, ''noise, confusion,'' etc]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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