rack and ruin, go to

Also, go to wrack and ruin. Become decayed, decline or fall apart, as in After the founder's death the business went to rack and ruin. These expressions are emphatic redundancies, since rack and wrack (which are actually variants of the same word) mean “destruction” or “ruin.” [Mid-1500s]


Nearby words

  1. racing skate,
  2. racism,
  3. racist,
  4. rack,
  5. rack and pinion,
  6. rack car,
  7. rack locomotive,
  8. rack off,
  9. rack one's brain,
  10. rack out

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