Dictionary.com

rack

1
[ rak ]
/ ræk /
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See synonyms for: rack / racked / racking on Thesaurus.com

noun

verb (used with object)

Verb Phrases

rack out, Slang. to go to bed; go to sleep: I racked out all afternoon.
rack up,
  1. Pool. to put (the balls) in a rack: You rack 'em up, and I'll break.
  2. Informal. to tally, accumulate, or amass, as an achievement or score: The corporation racked up the greatest profits in its history.

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“Evoke” and “invoke” both derive from the same Latin root “vocāre.”

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Origin of rack

1
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun rakke, rekke, from Middle Dutch rac, rec, recke; compare Middle Low German reck, German Reck

synonym study for rack

13. See torment.

OTHER WORDS FROM rack

rack·ing·ly, adverb

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH rack

rack , wrack

Definition for rack (2 of 6)

rack2
[ rak ]
/ ræk /

noun

ruin or destruction; wrack:We found our boat in a complete state of rack.

Verb Phrases

rack up, Slang. to wreck, especially a vehicle: People don't realize how easy it is to rack up a car in this fog.

Origin of rack

2
First recorded in 1590–1600; variant of wrack

Definition for rack (3 of 6)

rack3
[ rak ]
/ ræk /

noun

the fast pace of a horse in which the legs move in lateral pairs but not simultaneously: Playing the video in slow motion catches each footfall in the horse's rack.

verb (used without object)

(of horses) to move in a rack: a group of mustangs racking at top speed.

Origin of rack

3
First recorded in 1570–80; perhaps variant of rock2

Definition for rack (4 of 6)

rack4
[ rak ]
/ ræk /

noun

Also called cloud rack . a group of drifting clouds: The first rays of dawn struggle to pierce the dreary rack of storm clouds.

verb (used without object)

be driven or moved, as a cloud, before the wind: a wispy train of clouds racking to our west.
Also wrack .

Origin of rack

4
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English rak, reck(e); further origin uncertain

Definition for rack (5 of 6)

rack5
[ rak ]
/ ræk /

verb (used with object)

to draw off (wine, cider, etc.) from the lees: How recently was this wine racked into a clean barrel?

Origin of rack

5
First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Old French; compare obsolete French raqué “(of wine) pressed from the dregs of grapes”

Definition for rack (6 of 6)

rack6
[ rak ]
/ ræk /

noun

the rib section of a foresaddle of lamb, mutton, pork, or sometimes veal: a roasted rack of lamb with potatoes and asparagus.
(formerly) the neck portion of mutton, pork, or veal.

Origin of rack

6
First recorded in 1560–70; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What is a basic definition of rack?

A rack is a fixture or structure on which things are hung or stored. To rack is to torture or to strain. The word rack has several other senses as a noun and a verb.

Racks look different depending on what they are designed to hold, but they all serve generally the same function—storage. Racks come in two main styles. It can be a structure made of hooks, pegs, or bars that stick out so things can be hung from them, or it can be a shelf you put things on.

  • Real-life examples: Coat racks, hat racks, and guitar racks are used to store the things they are named after and may be mounted on walls. Spice racks, magazine racks, and book racks resemble shelves and are often made of plastic or metal. An oven rack is designed to place a baking pan or other ovenware on so that the oven’s heat moves all around the container.
  • Used in a sentence: I left my jacket on the coat rack by the door. 

As a verb, rack means to torture. In a similar sense, rack is used figuratively to mean to cause mental stress or strain.

  • Used in a sentence: After the car accident, I spent weeks in the hospital and my body was racked with pain.

In this sense, the word rack was used as the name of a medieval torture device. A person placed on the rack would be painfully stretched until their joints were dislocated.

Where does rack come from?

The first records of the term rack come from around 1250. It comes from the Middle Dutch rec, meaning “framework.” It is related to Old High German recchen, meaning “to stretch.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to rack?

  • racking (noun)
  • rackingly (adverb)

What are some synonyms for rack?

What are some words that share a root or word element with rack

What are some words that often get used in discussing rack?

What are some words rack may be commonly confused with?

How is rack used in real life?

Rack is a word used to refer to many different objects or structures designed to hold or store things.

Try using rack!

True or False?

A magazine rack is an object that is designed to hold hats.

How to use rack in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for rack (1 of 6)

rack1
/ (ræk) /

noun

verb (tr)

See also rack up

Derived forms of rack

racker, noun

Word Origin for rack

C14 rekke, probably from Middle Dutch rec framework; related to Old High German recchen to stretch, Old Norse rekja to spread out

undefined rack

British Dictionary definitions for rack (2 of 6)

rack2
/ (ræk) /

noun

destruction; wreck (obsolete except in the phrase go to rack and ruin)

Word Origin for rack

C16: variant of wrack 1

British Dictionary definitions for rack (3 of 6)

rack3
/ (ræk) /

noun

another word for single-foot, a gait of the horse

Word Origin for rack

C16: perhaps based on rock ²

British Dictionary definitions for rack (4 of 6)

rack4
/ (ræk) /

noun

a group of broken clouds moving in the wind

verb

(intr) (of clouds) to be blown along by the wind

Word Origin for rack

Old English wrǣc what is driven; related to Gothic wraks persecutor, Swedish vrak wreckage

British Dictionary definitions for rack (5 of 6)

rack5
/ (ræk) /

verb (tr)

to clear (wine, beer, etc) as by siphoning it off from the dregs
to fill a container with (beer, wine, etc)

Word Origin for rack

C15: from Old Provençal arraca, from raca dregs of grapes after pressing

British Dictionary definitions for rack (6 of 6)

rack6
/ (ræk) /

noun

the neck or rib section of mutton, pork, or veal

Word Origin for rack

Old English hrace; related to Old High German rahho, Danish harke, Swedish harkla to clear one's throat
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

Idioms and Phrases with rack

rack

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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