Dictionary > Rack

Rack

rack
1. An instrument or frame used for stretching, extending, retaining, or displaying, something. Specifically: 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. 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)
An instrument for bending a bow.
A grate on which bacon is laid.
A frame or device of various construction for holding, and preventing the waste of, hay, grain, etc, supplied to beasts.
A frame on which articles are deposited for keeping or arranged for display; as, a clothes rack; a bottle rack, etc.
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.
(Science: chemical) A frame or table on which ores are separated or washed.
A frame fitted to a wagon for carrying hay, straw, or grain on the stalk, or other bulky loads.
A distaff.
2. (Science: mechanics) 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.
1000
3. That which is extorted; exaction. Mangle rack.
(Science: machinery) See mangle. Rack block.
A toothed rack, laid as a rail, to afford a hold for teeth on the driving wheel of 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. To put to the rack, to subject to torture; to torment. A fit of the stone puts a kingto the rack, and makes him as miserable as it does the meanest subject. (Sir W. Temple)
Origin: Probably fr. D.rek, rekbank, a rack, rekken to stretch; akin to G. Reck, reckbank, a rack, recken to stretch, Dan. Raekke, Sw. Racka, Icel. Rekja to spread out, Goth. Refrakjan to stretch out; cf. L. Porrigere, Gr. Cf. Right, Ratch.
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. He was racked and miserably tormented. (pope)
2. To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or anguish. Vaunting aloud but racked with deep despair. (milton)
3. To stretch or strain, in a figurative sense; hence, to harass, or oppress by extortion. The landlords there shamefully rack their tenants. (Spenser) They landlords rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof. (Fuller) Try what my credit can in Venice do; That shall be racked even to the uttermost. (Shak)
4. (Science: chemical) To wash on a rack, as metals or ore.
5. To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns of yarn, marline, etc. To rack one’s brains or wits, to exert them to the utmost for the purpose of accomplishing something.
453
Synonym: To torture, torment, rend, tear.


You will also like...

Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..

Biological Energy
ATP & ADP – Biological Energy

ATP is the energy source that is typically used by an organism in its daily activities. The name is based on its structu..

Salmon jumping upstream in the river
Lotic Communities & Animals

A running water environment offers numerous microhabitats for many types of animals. Similar to plants, animals in lotic..

Human gastrointestinal tract
Human Biology – Food and Digestion

This tutorial recognizes the importance of food as a source of energy that will fuel many biological processes. A good d..

Muscle
Muscle

Muscle cells are specialized to generate force and movement. Learn about the different types of muscle tissues in this t..

Biosecurity and Biocontrol
Biosecurity and Biocontrol

This lesson explores the impact of biosecurity threats, and why they need to be identified and managed. Examples to incl..