Definition of rack noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ræk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ræk//
    Meat, In the store
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  1. 1(often in compounds) a piece of equipment, usually made of metal or wooden bars, that is used for holding things or for hanging things on a vegetable/wine/plate/toast rack I looked through a rack of clothes at the back of the shop. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack. see also luggage rack, roof rack See related entries: In the store
  2. 2(also the rack) an instrument of torture, used in the past for punishing and hurting people. Their arms and legs were tied to the wooden frame and then pulled in opposite directions, stretching the body.
  3. 3rack of lamb/pork a particular piece of meat that includes the front ribs and is cooked in the oven See related entries: Meat
  4. 4a part of a machine that consists of a bar with parts that a wheel or gear can fit into
  5. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 and verb Middle English: from Middle Dutch rec, Middle Low German rek ‘horizontal bar or shelf’, probably from recken ‘to stretch, reach’.noun sense 3 late 16th cent.: of unknown origin.Extra examples Spread the flowers out to dry on a rack. The racks along the wall held most of the costumes. The wine is stored in special racks. We fixed the canoe onto the car’s roof rack. a rack for storing apples racks of magazinesIdioms to get into a bad condition They let the house go to rack and ruin. More Like This Alliteration in idioms belt and braces, black and blue, born and bred, chalk and cheese, chop and change, done and dusted, down and dirty, in dribs and drabs, eat somebody out of house and home, facts and figures, fast and furious, first and foremost, forgive and forget, hale and hearty, hem and haw, kith and kin, mix and match, part and parcel, puff and pant, to rack and ruin, rant and rave, risk life and limb, short and sweet, signed and sealed, spic and span, through thick and thin, this and that, top and tail, tried and tested, wax and waneSee worksheet.
    off the rack (North American English) (British English off the peg)
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    (of clothes) made to a standard average size and not made especially to fit you See related entries: The fashion world
    feeling extreme pressure, anxiety or pain
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rack