rack ( racks plural & 3rd person present) ( racking present participle) ( racked past tense & past participle )
The spelling wrack is also used, mainly for meanings 2 and 3, and mainly in old-fashioned or American English.
1 n-count A rack is a frame or shelf, usually with bars or hooks, that is used for holding things or for hanging things on.
oft supp N
My rucksack was too big for the luggage rack...
2 verb If someone is rackedby something such as illness or anxiety, it causes them great suffering or pain.
His already infirm body was racked by high fever... be V-ed by/with n
...a teenager racked with guilt and anxiety. V-ed
3 If you rack your brains, you try very hard to think of something.
rack one's brain/rack one's brains phrase V and N inflect
She began to rack her brains to remember what had happened at the nursing home.
4 If you say that someone is on the rack, you mean that they are suffering either physically or mentally. (JOURNALISM)
on the rack phrase usu PHR after v
Only a year ago, he was on the rack with a heroin addiction that began when he was 13.
5 If you say that a place is going to rack and ruin, you are emphasizing that it is slowly becoming less attractive or less pleasant because no-one is bothering to look after it.
go to rack and ruin phrase V inflects (emphasis)
6 Off-the-rack clothes or goods are made in large numbers, rather than being made specially for a particular person.
off the rack phrase PHR n, PHR after v
...the same off-the-rack dress she's been wearing since the night before...
in BRIT, use off-the-peg rack up phrasal verb If a business racks up profits, losses, or sales, it makes a lot of them. If a sportsman, sportswoman, or team racks up wins, they win a lot of matches or races.
Lower rates mean that firms are more likely to rack up profits in the coming months... V P n (not pron)
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"