rack n

OE reccan; related to Ger. rackbank, rack for drawing wire, stretching leather, or inflicting torture.

  1. Instrument of torture; medieval stretching machine used for punishment; [fig.] extreme pain; physical agony; bodily torment; suffering of the flesh; [metaphor] trial; difficulty; adversity; affliction.

rack [-ed] v

see rack, n.

  1. Torture; torment; stretch; strain; pull to the limits of capacity.