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English definition of “rack”

rack

noun uk   /ræk/ us  

rack noun (FRAME)

[C] a frame or shelf, often formed of bars, that is used to hold things: a vegetable rack a plate rack a luggage rack [C] US (UK frame) a wooden or plastic triangle used to arrange the balls at the start of a game of billiards, pool, snooker, etc. the rack in the past, a device to which people were tied that stretched their bodies by pulling their arms in one direction and their legs in the other direction, usually used as a way of forcing them to give information

rack noun (MEAT)

[C or U] a large piece of meat cut from the neck of a sheep or pig: The butcher prepared a rack of pork. We're having rack of lamb for dinner.

rack noun (MACHINE)

[C] a bar with tooth-like parts along one edge that fits into a pinion (= a wheel with tooth-like parts) allowing change between circular and straight-line movement

rack noun (DECAY)

rack and ruin (US also wrack and ruin) a state of decay: The whole farm was going to rack and ruin.

rack

verb [T often passive] uk   /ræk/ us  
to cause physical or mental pain, or trouble, to someone or something: Even at the end, when cancer racked his body, he was calm and cheerful. The dog was already racked by/with the pains of old age. He was racked by/with doubts/guilt.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of rack from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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