A rack is a device meant to hold something, or several things. A coat rack has hooks for hanging coats, and a magazine rack has shelves or slots to hold magazines.

In a store, racks hold and display items for sale (like clothes racks and book racks), while in your house you have racks for storing things (a spice rack), or drying them (in the case of a towel rack). If you rack, or wrack, your brain, it means you think extra hard;and when something goes "to rack and ruin," it becomes old and decrepit, or falls apart.

Definitions of rack
  1. noun
    framework for holding objects
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    barbecue, barbeque
    a rack to hold meat for cooking over hot charcoal usually out of doors
    bicycle rack
    a rack for parking bicycles
    a rack attached to a vehicle; for carrying luggage or skis or the like
    coat rack, coatrack, hatrack
    a rack with hooks for temporarily holding coats and hats
    dish rack
    a rack for holding dishes as dishwater drains off of them
    a rack that holds hay for feeding livestock
    pipe rack
    a rack for holding a smoker's pipes
    plate rack
    a rack for holding plates to dry after they have been washed
    tie rack
    a rack for storing ties
    a rack for holding slices of toast
    towel horse, towel rack
    a rack consisting of one or more bars on which towels can be hung
    bomb rack
    a device on an aircraft for carrying bombs
    luggage carrier
    carrier (as behind a bicycle seat) for luggage
    luggage rack, roof rack
    carrier for holding luggage above the seats of a train or on top of a car
    ski rack
    a carrier for holding skis on top of a vehicle
    type of:
    a structure supporting or containing something
  2. noun
    a support for displaying various articles
    “the newspapers were arranged on a rack
    synonyms: stand
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    a stand to support a corpse or a coffin prior to burial
    a stand for cruets containing various condiments
    dress rack
    a rack used primarily to display dresses for sale in a store
    magazine rack
    a rack for displaying magazines
    music rack, music stand
    a light stand for holding sheets of printed music
    spice rack
    a rack for displaying containers filled with spices
    a three-legged rack used for support
    camera tripod
    a tripod used to support a camera
    a decorated bier on which a coffin rests in state during a funeral
    an upright tripod for displaying something (usually an artist's canvas)
    type of:
    any device that bears the weight of another thing
  3. verb
    work on a rack
    rack leather”
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    type of:
    process, work, work on
    shape, form, or improve a material
  4. verb
    put on a rack and pinion
    rack a camera”
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    type of:
    put to work, work
    cause to work
  5. verb
    seize together, as of parallel ropes of a tackle in order to prevent running through the block
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    type of:
    clutch, prehend, seize
    take hold of; grab
  6. noun
    an instrument of torture that stretches or disjoints or mutilates victims
    synonyms: wheel
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    type of:
    instrument of torture
    an instrument of punishment designed and used to inflict torture on the condemned person
  7. noun
    a form of torture in which pain is inflicted by stretching the body
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    type of:
    torture, torturing
    the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason
  8. verb
    torture on the rack
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    type of:
    excruciate, torment, torture
    subject to torture
  9. verb
    stretch to the limits
    rack one's brains”
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    type of:
    strain, stress, try
    test the limits of
  10. verb
    torment emotionally or mentally
    synonyms: excruciate, torment, torture
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    type of:
    anguish, hurt, pain
    cause emotional anguish or make miserable
  11. verb
    obtain by coercion or intimidation
    synonyms: extort, gouge, squeeze, wring
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    get or extort (money or other possessions) from someone
    type of:
    fleece, gazump, hook, overcharge, pluck, plume, rob, soak, surcharge
    rip off; ask an unreasonable price
  12. noun
    the destruction or collapse of something
    synonyms: wrack
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    type of:
    demolition, destruction, wipeout
    an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys something
  13. noun
    rib section of a forequarter of veal or pork or especially lamb or mutton
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    crown roast, rack of lamb
    a roast of the rib section of lamb
    type of:
    cut, cut of meat
    a piece of meat that has been cut from an animal carcass
  14. noun
    a rapid gait of a horse in which each foot strikes the ground separately
    synonyms: single-foot
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    type of:
    a horse's manner of moving
  15. verb
    go at a rack
    synonyms: single-foot
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    type of:
    go at a pace
  16. verb
    fly in high wind
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    type of:
    fly, wing
    travel through the air; be airborne
  17. verb
    run before a gale
    synonyms: scud
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    type of:
    travel on water propelled by wind
  18. verb
    draw off from the lees
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    type of:
    draw, take out
    take liquid out of a container or well
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