AskDefine | Define rack

Dictionary Definition



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]
4 an instrument of torture that stretches or disjoints or mutilates victims [syn: wheel]
5 a support for displaying various articles; "the newspapers were arranged on a rack" [syn: stand]
6 a rapid gait of a horse in which each foot strikes the ground separately [syn: single-foot]


1 go at a rack; "the horses single-footed" [syn: single-foot]
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, gouge, wring]
5 run before a gale [syn: scud]
6 fly in high wind
7 draw off from the lees; "rack wine"
8 torment emotionally or mentally [syn: torment, torture, excruciate]
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

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ræk/
  • Rhymes with: -æk

Etymology 1

Middle English


  1. a series of one or more shelves, stacked one above the other
  2. a frame with which to hang various items.
  3. a device used to torture victims by stretching them beyond their natural limits.
  4. a pair of antlers (as on deer, moose or elk).
  5. a cut of meat involving several adjacent ribs
    I bought a rack of lamb at the butcher's yesterday.
  6. A triangle used for alignment at the start of a game.
  7. a woman's breasts.
series of shelves
torture device
frame for hanging objects
cut of meat
woman's breasts


  1. To place in or hang on a rack
  2. In the context of "sports|billiards|snooker|pool": To put the balls into the triangular rack and set them in place on the table.
  3. To strike a male in the groin with the knee.

Etymology 2



  1. stretch joints of a person

Etymology 3



  1. To clarify, and thereby deter further fermentation of, beer, wine or cider by draining or siphoning it from the dregs.

Extensive Definition

Rack may refer to:


Kinds of racks

Other uses

rack in Spanish: Rack (desambiguación)
rack in Japanese: ラック

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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