rack

Definitions

General English

  • noun a frame for holding things, e.g. letters, tools or suitcases

General Science

  • noun a storage unit consisting of shelves, compartments or bars for hanging things

Agriculture

  • noun a frame of wooden or metal bars which holds fodder, and from which animals can eat

Cars & Driving

  • noun a long, toothed bar

Commerce

Computing

  • noun a metal supporting frame for electronic circuit boards and peripheral devices such as disk drives

Construction

  • A framework of metal bars used to prevent waterborne trash from entering a waterway.

Electronics

  • A framework or stand, usually made of metal, which holds and supports panels, devices, or pieces of equipment. Used, for instance, to install multiple components of an audio system. 2. A rack (1) with standardized dimensions. Also called relay rack.
  • A straight bar which has teeth which can be meshed with a round bar with teeth, as in a rack and pinion.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a frame for holding things, often used for display purposes

Slang

  • noun a bed. This use of the word is probably of armed-service origin.
  • noun female breasts

Travel

  • noun a frame to hold flat thin objects such as letters or pieces of toast

Origin & History of “rack”

English has no fewer than four distinct words rack. The oldest, ‘framework’ (14th c.), was borrowed from Dutch rak, which was probably a derivative of the middle Dutch verb recken ‘stretch’. Rack ‘destruction’ (16th c.), now used only in the phrase rack and ruin, is a variant of wrack, which is closely related to wreak and wreck. Rack, or wrack, ‘mass of wind-driven cloud’ (14th c.) was probably acquired from Old Norse (Swedish has the probably related rak). And rack ‘drain wine off its lees’ (15th c.) was borrowed from Provençal arracar, a derivative of raca ‘dregs’.
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