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Related to racking: racking up

rack 1

a. A framework or stand in or on which to hold, hang, or display various articles: a trophy rack; a rack for baseball bats in the dugout; a drying rack for laundry.
b. Games A triangular frame for arranging billiard or pool balls at the start of a game.
c. A receptacle for livestock feed.
d. A frame for holding bombs in an aircraft.
2. Slang
a. A bunk or bed.
b. Sleep: tried to get some rack.
3. A toothed bar that meshes with a gearwheel, pinion, or other toothed machine part.
a. A state of intense anguish.
b. A cause of intense anguish.
5. An instrument of torture on which the victim's body was stretched.
6. A pair of antlers.
7. Vulgar Slang A woman's breasts.
tr.v. racked, rack·ing, racks
1. To place (billiard balls, for example) in a rack.
2. also wrack To cause great physical or mental suffering to: Pain racked his entire body. See Synonyms at afflict.
3. To torture by means of the rack.
Phrasal Verbs:
rack out Slang
To go to sleep or get some sleep.
rack up Informal
To accumulate or score: rack up points.
off the rack
Ready-made. Used of clothing.
on the rack
Under great stress.
rack (one's) brains/brain
To try hard to remember or think of something.

[Middle English rakke, probably from Middle Dutch rec, framework; see reg- in Indo-European roots.]

rack′er n.

rack 2

A fast, flashy, four-beat gait of a horse in which each foot touches the ground separately and at equal intervals.
intr.v. racked, rack·ing, racks
To go or move at a rack.

[Origin unknown.]

rack 3

also wrack  (răk)
A thin mass of wind-driven clouds.

[Middle English rak, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Swedish rak, wreckage.]

rack 4

Variant of wrack1.

rack 5

n. & v.
Variant of wrack2.

rack 6

tr.v. racked, rack·ing, racks
To drain (wine or cider) from the dregs.

[Middle English rakken, from Old Provençal arracar, from raca, stems and husks of grapes.]

rack 7

a. A wholesale rib cut of lamb or veal between the shoulder and the loin.
b. A retail rib cut of lamb or veal, prepared for roasting or for rib chops.
2. The neck and upper spine of mutton, pork, or veal.

[Probably from rack.]

wrack 1

also rack  (răk)
Destruction or ruin. Used chiefly in the phrase wrack and ruin.

[Middle English, from Old English wræc, punishment (influenced by Middle Dutch wrak, shipwreck).]

wrack 2

also rack  (răk)
a. Wreckage, especially of a ship cast ashore.
b. Chiefly British Violent destruction of a building or vehicle.
a. Seaweed that has been cast ashore or dried.
b. Any of various brown algae, especially rockweed or kelp.
v. wracked, wrack·ing, wracks also racked or rack·ing or racks
To cause the ruin of; wreck.
To be wrecked.

[Middle English wrak, from Middle Dutch.]

wrack 3

tr.v. wracked, wrack·ing, wracks
Variant of rack1..
wrack (one's) brains/brain
To try hard to remember or think of something.

[Influenced by wrack.]

wrack 4

Variant of rack3.


causing or indicating mental sufferingcausing or indicating physical suffering
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.racking - causing great physical or mental suffering; "a wrenching pain"
painful - causing physical or psychological pain; "worked with painful slowness"


[ˈrækɪŋ] ADJ [pain] → atroz


adj attr painrasend, entsetzlich; coughfürchterlich, quälend; sobentsetzlich, fürchterlich


[rækɪŋ] adj (pain) → atroce
References in classic literature ?
He did not go very far round the corner he gave out completely, and sat down on the steps of a saloon, and hid his face in his hands, and shook all over with dry, racking sobs.
But what is your highness's idea for racking the prisoner?
The racking and pitiless pain of it remains stored up in my memory alongside the memory of the time that I had my teeth fixed.
John Rivers-- pure-lived, conscientious, zealous as he was--had not yet found that peace of God which passeth all understanding: he had no more found it, I thought, than had I with my concealed and racking regrets for my broken idol and lost elysium--regrets to which I have latterly avoided referring, but which possessed me and tyrannised over me ruthlessly.
My horror of having committed a thousand offences I had forgotten, and which nothing could ever expiate - my recollection of that indelible look which Agnes had given me - the torturing impossibility of communicating with her, not knowing, Beast that I was, how she came to be in London, or where she stayed - my disgust of the very sight of the room where the revel had been held - my racking head - the smell of smoke, the sight of glasses, the impossibility of going out, or even getting up
what if all Her stores were op'n'd, and this Firmament Of Hell should spout her Cataracts of Fire, Impendent horrors, threatning hideous fall One day upon our heads; while we perhaps Designing or exhorting glorious Warr, Caught in a fierie Tempest shall be hurl'd Each on his rock transfixt, the sport and prey Of racking whirlwinds, or for ever sunk Under yon boyling Ocean, wrapt in Chains; There to converse with everlasting groans, Unrespited, unpitied, unrepreevd, Ages of hopeless end; this would be worse.
But his strength failed him totally ere he had reached within four miles of the Temple-Court; racking pains shot along his back and through his limbs, and the excessive anguish which he felt at heart being now augmented by bodily suffering, he was rendered altogether incapable of proceeding farther than a small market-town, were dwelt a Jewish Rabbi of his tribe, eminent in the medical profession, and to whom Isaac was well known.
Now upon that same day, while the Sheriff's daughter was racking her brains for a scheme, there came to the Mansion House a strolling tinker named Middle, a great gossip and braggart.
The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death.
He had been awake all night with a racking toothache - pacing his room like a caged beast or throwing himself in fury on his bed - and had fallen at last into that profound, uneasy slumber that so often follows on a night of pain, when he was awakened by the third or fourth angry repetition of the concerted signal.