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Definition of rack:

  1. 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.
  2. A distaff.
  3. A fast amble.
  4. A frame fitted to a wagon for carrying hay, straw, or grain on the stalk, or other bulky loads.
  5. A frame on which articles are deposited for keeping or arranged for display; as, a clothes rack; a bottle rack, etc.
  6. A frame or device of various construction for holding, and preventing the waste of, hay, grain, etc., supplied to beasts.
  7. A frame or table on which ores are separated or washed.
  8. A grate on which bacon is laid.
  9. 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.
  10. A wreck; destruction.
  11. 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.
  12. An instrument for bending a bow.
  13. An instrument or frame used for stretching, extending, retaining, or displaying, something.
  14. Same as Arrack.
  15. That which is extorted; exaction.
  16. The neck and spine of a fore quarter of veal or mutton.
  17. Thin, flying, broken clouds, or any portion of floating vapor in the sky.
  18. To amble fast, causing a rocking or swaying motion of the body; to pace; - said of a horse.
  19. To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns of yarn, marline, etc.
  20. To draw off from the lees or sediment, as wine.
  21. 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.
  22. To fly, as vapor or broken clouds.
  23. To stretch or strain, in a figurative sense; hence, to harass, or oppress by extortion.
  24. To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or anguish.
  25. To wash on a rack, as metals or ore.


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