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Rack   Listen
verb
Rack  v. t.  
1.
To extend by the application of force; to stretch or strain; specifically, to stretch on the rack or wheel; to torture by an engine which strains the limbs and pulls the joints. "He was racked and miserably tormented."
2.
To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or anguish. "Vaunting aloud but racked with deep despair."
3.
To stretch or strain, in a figurative sense; hence, to harass, or oppress by extortion. "The landlords there shamefully rack their tenants." "They (landlords) rack their rents an ace too high." "Grant that I may never rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof." "Try what my credit can in Venice do; That shall be racked even to the uttermost."
4.
(Mining) To wash on a rack, as metals or ore.
5.
(Naut.) To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns of yarn, marline, etc.
To rack one's brains or To rack one's brains out or To rack one's wits, to exert one's thinking processes to the utmost for the purpose of accomplishing something; as, I racked my brains out trying to find a way to solve the problem.
Synonyms: To torture; torment; rend; tear.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Rack" Quotes from Famous Books



... sitting-room. My father was seated at the open window, but to see him dismayed me. He rose with an uneasy look as I went toward him. He was so wasted that his large features stood out gaunt and prominent. His clothes hung about him in folds, and his vast, bony frame was like a rack from which they seemed ready ...
— Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker • S. Weir Mitchell

... revolts during the Middle Ages had always been treated. Again and again, with all solemnity, the Royalists had declared that were they to return as conquerors no stone of Paris should be left standing on another, and that the inhabitants should expire in the ashes of their homes on the rack and the wheel. ...
— The Theory of Social Revolutions • Brooks Adams

... because she could not. Resentment and loyalty, shame and heartache, kept her lips dumb. She walked to and fro in the garden, alone in the sweet early darkness, for an hour. Then she went indoors, and tried to amuse herself at the piano. Suddenly her face twisted, she laid her arm along the rack, and her face on her arm; but it was only for a moment; then she straightened up resolutely, piled the music, closed ...
— The Rich Mrs. Burgoyne • Kathleen Norris

... corner and the acid-stained, deal-topped table. There upon a shelf was the row of formidable scrap-books and books of reference which many of our fellow-citizens would have been so glad to burn. The diagrams, the violin-case, and the pipe-rack—even the Persian slipper which contained the tobacco—all met my eyes as I glanced round me. There were two occupants of the room—one, Mrs. Hudson, who beamed upon us both as we entered—the other, the strange dummy which had ...
— The Return of Sherlock Holmes • Arthur Conan Doyle

... liked, and in any one of those many dresses she might feel at home in five minutes—they suited her so well. She could see, well enough, that Mr. Linden not only remembered "her style" but loved it,—in the very top rack, that was first laid open, she had proof of this—for besides the finest of lawn and cambric, there were dainty bands of embroidery and pieces of lace with which Faith could ruffle herself to ...
— Say and Seal, Volume II • Susan Warner

... you bid me fly? You who have betrayed me? You whom I trusted? You who vowed that not even the rack could extort one syllable from your lips? Base girl, is it thus that thou dost requite my love? Away! Go back to that court whose enticements have caused thee ...
— In Doublet and Hose - A Story for Girls • Lucy Foster Madison

... always and always will be most true to you. I would not be such a wicked little girl as to break my word for anything I'm going always to keep it, and tortures, even the Inquisition, and even the rack, wouldn't get it out of me. Did you ever hear of the rack, Mr. Dove? but perhaps you had better not know. Yes, I'll always keep my word, the word that I promised, and no one shall ever know about you and me and the sticky sweetmeats; but I won't keep the word that ...
— The Palace Beautiful - A Story for Girls • L. T. Meade

... avocations, position and income, all apparently with the view of elucidating the points of his case, but in fact for the purpose of estimating the "size of his pile," with the object of ascertaining to what extent he can be "bled." This essential information obtained, the quack at once sets his moral rack to work. Everything will be said not only to confirm the patient's fears, but to increase them. A pretended examination of urine will be made, and he will be gravely told that the quack's worst fears are confirmed, ocular ...
— Danger! A True History of a Great City's Wiles and Temptations • William Howe

... that he could not well reduce the price. Truly, people weren't rolling in money here! And when for once he actually had a shilling in hand, then it was sure to take to its heels under his very nose, directly he began to rack his brains to decide how it could most usefully be applied: on one such occasion, for example, he had seen, in a huckster's window, a pipe in the form of a boot-leg, which was ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... that one cry of jealousy, That curse where I had come to bless, That harsh voice of unhappiness. They'll note the curse, but not the pang, Not the torment whence it sprang, They'll note the blow at my friend's back, But not the soul stretched on the rack. They'll note the weak convulsive sting, Not the ...
— Collected Poems - Volume Two (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... twenty-one feet, was separated by a projecting wall and pillars and contained a victrola and records, a piano, a library (one hundred fifty books furnished by the American Red Cross, exchanged at intervals), a magazine rack, reading table, machine guns and rack, a bulletin board and several comfortable chairs made by convalescents. A portable stage for entertainments was placed in this space when required. A complete set of scenery with flies and curtains was presented by the American Red Cross. ...
— The History of the American Expedition Fighting the Bolsheviki - Campaigning in North Russia 1918-1919 • Joel R. Moore

... composed of nothing but heads of chapters, and I think you tend the same way. Please take the trouble to make the two lines I have scored into a paragraph, so that poor devils who are not quite so well up in the subject as yourself may not have to rack their brains for an hour to supply all the links ...
— The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley Volume 1 • Leonard Huxley

... this; and there was a rattling noise which Roy interpreted, for he knew that the men in the guard-room had seized the pikes from the rack, and that a bristling hedge of steel was ...
— The Young Castellan - A Tale of the English Civil War • George Manville Fenn

... the music-rack and placed his glass upon the keyboard. One leg was crossed over the other, and he ...
— Ranson's Folly • Richard Harding Davis

... thrown out by her athletic bodyguard. Still, I thought I ought not now to leave the house without making some apology, and, if the worst should come, I could show my card. They could hardly believe that a member of an Embassy had any designs upon the hat-rack. ...
— In the Fog • Richard Harding Davis

... of the collection suggest the delusions of mysticism, and weep tears of blood; they are distressing to the ear and mind alike, for they are the passionate expression of a faith that puts itself on the rack. By the side of them one finds smiling visions of the Holy Family, which recall Murillo. The thirty-four folk-songs are brilliant, restless, whimsical, and wonderfully varied in form. Each represents a ...
— Musicians of To-Day • Romain Rolland

... We need not rack our poor, finite minds over the final problem of evolution, or the final destiny of Man and Ape. We cannot prove anything beyond what we see. We do not know, and we never can know, whether the chimpanzee has a "soul" or not; and we cannot prove that the ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... after her, while the rest of us stood whispering in the hall. Five minutes later the two descended together. But while we others climbed into the cars, Jill twitched a lead from the rack and took her stand upon the steps, with Nobby leaping for joy about her sides. And when she cried "Good-bye," there was a ring in her tone which sounded too glad to ...
— Jonah and Co. • Dornford Yates

... seeing that they were the nominees of a great landlord, they were almost entirely composed of landlords, and the score of gentlemen who served on these bodies in many instances imposed taxation, as is now freely admitted, for the benefit of their own property on a rack-rented tenantry. A reform of this system of local government was promised by the Liberals in the Queen's Speech of 1881, but so far was the powerful Government at that time in office from fulfilling its pledges that not only was no Bill to that effect ...
— Ireland and the Home Rule Movement • Michael F. J. McDonnell

... the phone forward over Harry Quong's shoulder; Quong caught it and began speaking rapidly and urgently into it while he steered with the other hand. Von Schlichten took one of the five-pound spiked riot-maces out of the rack in front of him. Themistocles M'zangwe had already drawn his pistol; he shifted it to his left hand and took a mace in his right. The Nipponese-Irish colonel, looking like a homicidally infuriated ...
— Uller Uprising • Henry Beam Piper, John D. Clark and John F. Carr

... themselves for him; merely for the purpose of continuing their species. In wild, tropical countries, at the first glance there appears to be some consideration for him, but it is on the surface only. The lion pounces on him, the rhinoceros crushes him, the serpent bites, insects torture, diseases rack him. Disease worked its dreary will even among the flower-crowned Polynesians. Returning to our own country, this very thyme which scents my fingers did not grow for that purpose, but for its own. So does the wheat beneath; ...
— The Story of My Heart • Richard Jefferies

... of railway companies in the event of personal accident through parcels falling from a rack in the compartments of passenger trains has been raised in the Midlands. In December last, a tailor named Round was travelling from Dudley to Stourbridge, and, on the train being drawn up at Round ...
— Railway Adventures and Anecdotes - extending over more than fifty years • Various

... the seas! on ocean wave Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave; When death, careering on the gale, Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail, And frighted waves rush wildly back Before the broadside's reeling rack, Each dying wanderer of the sea Shall look at once to heaven and thee, And smile to see thy splendors fly In triumph ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5 • Charles Sylvester

... your 'ands off the new arm-rack." Foxy wrestled with a turbulent crowd in the gymnasium. "Nor it won't do even a condemned Snider any good to be continual snappin' the lock, Mr. Swayne.—Yiss, the uniforms will come later, when we're more proficient; at present we will confine ourselves to drill. I am 'ere for ...
— Stalky & Co. • Rudyard Kipling

... the immigrant, sprung from peasant stock, is to grow up in the slums and tenements of the great city. Such a fate was mine. To exchange the rack-rented but limitless fields of Irish landlordism for the rickety and equally rack-rented tenements, with the checkerboard streets, where all must keep moving, is only adding sordidness to spare sadness. Surely, the birthday's injury is felt in a deep sense by ...
— An Anarchist Woman • Hutchins Hapgood

... to stand by the wheel or the rack while some poor body is tortured to death; who can stand by while a human heart is breaking with the extremity of anguish? When such a grief comes to any one as to Leone, one stands by in silence; it is as though a funeral ...
— A Mad Love • Bertha M. Clay

... sturdy north blows from his cheek A blast, that scours the sky, forthwith our air, Clear'd of the rack, that hung on it before, Glitters; and, With his beauties all unveil'd, The firmament looks forth serene, and smiles; Such was my cheer, when Beatrice drove With clear reply the shadows back, and truth Was manifested, as ...
— The Divine Comedy, Complete - The Vision of Paradise, Purgatory and Hell • Dante Alighieri

... glittering knives in their belts. I feel in my pockets to see if the key which unlocks the carpet-bag containing my revolvers is all right—for I had rather brilliantly locked my deadly weapons up in that article, which was strapped with the other baggage to the rack behind. The passengers frown on me for this carelessness, but the kind-hearted Ryder gives me a small double-barrelled gun, with which I narrowly escape murdering my beloved friend Hingston in cold blood. I am not used to guns and things, and in changing the ...
— The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 4 • Charles Farrar Browne

... numberless other ways did the British officers seem to rack their inventions to insult, terrify, and vex the poor prisoners. The meanest, upstart officers among them would insult and abuse our ...
— American Prisoners of the Revolution • Danske Dandridge

... moon at full was streaming Through rack and thunder-cloud, Like the last pale taper gleaming On coffin, pall, and shroud. The winds were fiercely wreaking Their vengeance on the wave, A hoarse dirge wildly shrieking O'er each ...
— Life in the Clearings versus the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... the Russ's bleak domain, 30 Say, what tidings dost thou bring! Shouts, and the noise of battle! and again The winged wind blew loud a deadly blast; Shouts, and the noise of battle! the long main Seemed with hoarse voice to answer as he passed. The moody South went by, and silence kept; The cloudy rack oft hid his mournful mien, And frequent fell the showers, as if he wept The eternal havoc of this mortal scene. He had heard the yell, and cry, 40 And howling dance of Anarchy, Where the Rhone, with rushing flood, ...
— The Poetical Works of William Lisle Bowles, Vol. 1 • William Lisle Bowles

... printout paper. For this reason the use of bromide papers with under-exposed negatives is not advisable. But there are a great many negatives which, while unsuitable as they come from the drying rack, can be easily adapted to the process by slight modifications. A very dense negative, for instance, may be reduced either with the ferricyanide of potash or persulphate of ammonia reducer; and a thin negative with proper graduations can frequently ...
— Bromide Printing and Enlarging • John A. Tennant

... way too, Don. But finding that missing gun will be as difficult as finding your father. I have searched the country over for it and made a wonderful collection of flint-lock guns, as you see by looking at yonder gun-rack; I have had dozens of arms collectors and detectives looking for guns of that description, but no Patrick Mullen rifle has turned up anywhere. There have, of course, been many false clues and many queer rifles offered to me and I have put a great ...
— The Black Wolf Pack • Dan Beard

... whom he was sailing to meet. He knew they were glowing with pride because of their triumphs over the Crusaders in Palestine. He knew they were blazing with anger because their brother Moors had been slaughtered and tortured in Spain. He saw ahead of him the rack, the thumb-screw, and the boot; the long years in a slimy dungeon—at the best the executioner's scimitar. He simply dared ...
— The Book of Missionary Heroes • Basil Mathews

... grudge the mules, my child, nor anything beside. Go! Quickly shall the servants harness the wagon for you, the high one, with good wheels, fitted with rack above." ...
— Modern Prose And Poetry; For Secondary Schools - Edited With Notes, Study Helps, And Reading Lists • Various

... rude and sullen, that is the reason. If I had set less store upon your love, and upon her—her—liking for me, then doubtless I should have borne the displacement with better grace. But it put me on the rack. Believe me, if I have behaved to your displeasure, and hers, it has been from very excess ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... diner-out is he whose card-rack or mantelpiece (I was going to say groans, but) laughingly rejoices in respectful well-worded invitations to luxuriously-appointed tables. I count not him, hapless wretch! as one who, singling out "a friend," drops in just at pudding-time, and ravens ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... he was going he had not given. During the days she had been lost he had been on the rack of torture. He did not want her to suffer months of such mental distress while the man she loved was facing alone the peril of his grim work in ...
— Man Size • William MacLeod Raine

... and he seemed a master hand at taking his ease when he could. Neither the sharp whistle of the locomotive nor the brakeman's call disturbed him. It was not until after the train had stopped that he rose, put on a Panama hat, took from the rack a small valise and a flute-case, and stepped deliberately to the station platform. The baggage was already unloaded, and the stranger presented a check ...
— A Collection of Stories, Reviews and Essays • Willa Cather

... representative of Christ, casts him out; when multitudes of pious and holy souls, as yet unenlightened in their piety, look on him with horror as an infidel and blasphemer, —then comes the very wrench of the rack. As long as the body is strong, and the mind clear, a consciousless of right may sustain even this; but there come weakened hours, when, worn by prison and rack, the soul asks itself, "Can it be that all the religion and respectability of the world is wrong, and I alone right?" ...
— Sunny Memories of Foreign Lands V2 • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... health, which had never been very good, began rapidly to fail. His cheeks became hollow, and a racking cough began to show itself. Still he went on keeping late hours, and drinking more and more freely, while his mind was all the time upon the rack. Towards the close of the second year, he was taken down with a severe illness, the result of all this abuse of mind and body. He lingered long upon the brink of the grave; but the little energy which his system retained, rallied at last, and he began slowly to recover. During convalescence, he ...
— The Lights and Shadows of Real Life • T.S. Arthur

... and Dolores was left standing alone by the midship shot-rack. She singled out a few of her men by name, and commanded them to rally to her side; then, seizing a cutlas from the deck, she glided tigerishly to the main companionway, down which the pirates were now driving the beaten crew, and the men she had picked out ...
— The Pirate Woman • Aylward Edward Dingle

... been produced under ordinary conditions, one would have had to rack one's brains to account for its feebleness. Not only is the genial Lord of Humour degraded in it into a buffoon, but the amusement of it is chiefly in situation; it is almost as much a farce as a comedy. For these and other reasons ...
— The Man Shakespeare • Frank Harris

... much to say to her: the torturing, mental rack to which she was being subjected had not yet fully done its work. It still was capable of one or two turns, a twist or so which might succeed in crushing her pride and her defiance. Well! so be it! she was in the ...
— The Elusive Pimpernel • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... already at the depot, the doors of which were open. Captain Sol entered the waiting room and unlocked the ticket rack and the little safe. Issy, languidly toying with the broom on the front platform, paused in his pretense of sweeping and awaited permission to go home for breakfast. It came, in ...
— The Depot Master • Joseph C. Lincoln

... the table on which the paper was symmetrically arranged in a stationery rack, and quickly seating herself, she laid her muff down, half-raised her little veil, and beat a tattoo with her tiny hand on the little black leather blotter before her, then taking off her gloves, she ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... attach ourselves to such and such a community; there is no society for the children.' Then many of us are very much afraid of being laughed at. Ridicule, I think, to sensitive people in a generation like ours, is pretty nearly as bad as the old rack and the physical torments of martyrdom. We have all got so nervous and high-strung nowadays, and depend so much upon other people's good opinion, that it is a dreadful thing to be ridiculed. Timid people do not come to the front and say what they believe, and take up unpopular ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI • Alexander Maclaren

... the Queen. "Indeed we doubted not of it; her whole demeanour bears it out. I found her moping in a corner of yonder grotto; and every word she spoke—which indeed I dragged from her as by the rack—she instantly recalled and forswore. But how came she hither? Why had you her ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... mother-of-pearl keys faintly tinged with brown all around their edges. From end to end, lengthwise of its top, was a long narrow piece of dark red satin decorated with bunches of tall cat-tails heavily painted in oils. Scattered music lay all over the piano, on the music-rack, sliding down on the keys, and in small, untidy piles hastily placed on the red satin cover. Its scattered condition was conclusive evidence that Arethusa had been handling it, for she was the only person on the place who ever scattered anything about so untidily. There was a wicker sewing-basket ...
— The Heart of Arethusa • Francis Barton Fox

... Cutlets in Mint Jelly.—Roast a piece of what butchers call the rack of lamb, which is really the neck and ribs. Let it get cold; cut from it six cutlets, which trim just as if they were uncooked; that is to say, remove meat and fat from the bone, and scrape it. Mask each of the cutlets in mint jelly[101-*] warmed enough to be half fluid. Arrange very carefully round ...
— Choice Cookery • Catherine Owen

... went through the hall he kept looking all around as if he expected to see sharpshooters behind all the doors. It was a dandy house, with a nice big wide hall and it had a moose's head for a hat rack. First I guess ...
— Roy Blakeley's Bee-line Hike • Percy Keese Fitzhugh

... pick it up, when with a decided gesture she stopped me. I looked at her surprised. Her face was flushed, indignant, I thought, and instantly my conscience was on the rack. What had I done, for my lady ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII, No. 29. August, 1873. • Various

... America. Artois hinted that he received a good rent from the English lady for the cottage on Monte Amato. The contadino acknowledged that he received a fair price for the cottage and the land about it; but the house, he declared, would go to rack and ruin with no one ever in it, and the land was lying idle, for the English lady would have everything left exactly as it had been when she lived there with her husband. Artois seized upon this hint of what was in the peasant's mind, and bemoaned with him his situation. The house ...
— A Spirit in Prison • Robert Hichens

... his rent-roll. He's a cursed old screw, and the buildings all over his estate are going to rack. I suppose this young fellow is some ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... the charter of the bank, the minds of men were on the rack to conceive new sources of revenue with which to meet the increased expenditures of the nation. The land tax was renewed at four shillings in the pound, and yielded a revenue of two millions. A poll tax was ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. IV. October, 1863, No. IV. - Devoted to Literature and National Policy. • Various

... seams, in every crack, A beaded sweat appears: The soul that's stretched on such a rack Can shed ...
— Miscellany of Poetry - 1919 • Various

... sighed a yawn, as he tossed his hat into the rack above his head. "We shall both be the better for some pure air. London quite does me up. And you—you've been sticking at it months on end, haven't you? You look rather fagged—or at all events you did yesterday. You've smartened yourself so—without ...
— The Market-Place • Harold Frederic

... compete with one another so as to injure one another's business: they would out of pure goodwill organise into a "monopoly," and working this monopoly for the exclusive interest of themselves and their employees, rack-rent the consuming public; or if their benevolence extended to all their customers they would socialise their business, conducting it for the greatest good of all society. Such a form of socialised industry, dependent upon the moral character of perishable individuals, ...
— The Evolution of Modern Capitalism - A Study of Machine Production • John Atkinson Hobson

... living, and had the same, if not more tender inclinations for him than ever, the latter of which he had long since ceased to hope, was sufficient to have overwhelmed even the most phlegmatic person with an excess of joy:—but then the dark expressions in both these letters put his brain on the rack.—The baron had seemed to refer to an explanation of what he darkly hinted at in the letter of Dorilaus, but that he found rather more obsolete: he could imagine nothing farther than that Dorilaus having resolved to make him his heir, as he remembered ...
— The Fortunate Foundlings • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... the canvas at the back of the tent. Presently the hangings were withdrawn; and the prisoner beheld an interior chamber, hung with various instruments the nature of which was betrayed by their very shape; while by the rack, placed in the centre of that dreary chamber, stood a tall and grisly figure, his arms bare, his eyes bent, as by an ...
— Leila, Complete - The Siege of Granada • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... with a sense of the most vivid and appalling terror. Every nerve in my body seemed paralysed—I could not move or cry out,—invisible bands stronger than iron held me a prisoner on my bed—and I could only stare upwards in horror as a victim bound to the rack might stare at the pitiless faces of his torturers. A Figure, tall, massive and clothed in black, stood beside me—I could not see its face—but I felt its eyes gazing down upon me with a remorseless, cold inquisitiveness—a silent, ...
— The Life Everlasting: A Reality of Romance • Marie Corelli

... ignominious death he died. Because at Rome, the proud mistress of the world, they thundered out the terrors of the law upon that idolatrous, war-making, and slaveholding community. Why were the martyrs stretched upon the rack, gibbetted and burnt, the scorn and diversion of a Nero, whilst their tarred and burning bodies sent up a light which illuminated the Roman capital? Why were the Waldenses hunted like wild beasts upon the mountains of Piedmont, and slain with the sword of the Duke of Savoy and the proud ...
— An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South • Angelina Emily Grimke

... to listen to what they are playing. Pupils should be made to listen, by means of a special course in tone production, which should go hand in hand with the technical exercises used at the very beginning. Otherwise they imagine they are making music when they place the printed page on the rack, and set the ...
— Piano Mastery - Talks with Master Pianists and Teachers • Harriette Brower

... not," said Judy brightly. "Shall I make you some toast, Hilda? This in the toast-rack is so soft and flabby—do ...
— A Young Mutineer • Mrs. L. T. Meade

... he intended to visit before going to the Marais. I acted upon this suggestion and went to Madame Fontanieu, whom I found alone. I was forced to talk to her of the suit of Monsieur and Madame de Lauzun, which I pretended was the business I came upon, and cruelly did I rack my brains to say enough to keep up the conversation. When Fontanieu arrived, for he was soon found, fortunately, I was thrown into another embarrassment, for I had all the pains in the world to get away from Madame Fontanieu, ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... scene with round hollow mounds innumerable. A thousand features, but it remains one mighty mountain. How natural it seems for it to be sublime! It is the peer of the sea and of the sky. All day it flashed and darkened under the rack, and I rejoiced in the sight, and knew why Pindar called it the pillar of heaven; and at night it hooded itself once more with the ...
— Heart of Man • George Edward Woodberry

... And mad despight to be so oft repell'd. Him walking on a Sunny hill he found, Back'd on the North and West by a thick wood, Out of the wood he starts in wonted shape; And in a careless mood thus to him said. 450 Fair morning yet betides thee Son of God, After a dismal night; I heard the rack As Earth and Skie would mingle; but my self Was distant; and these flaws, though mortals fear them As dangerous to the pillard frame of Heaven, Or to the Earths dark basis underneath, Are to the main as inconsiderable, And harmless, if not wholsom, as a sneeze To mans less universe, and ...
— The Poetical Works of John Milton • John Milton

... this time he was on his way, and though he went back to leave his hat in his room, unwilling to confide it to the hat-rack below, he presently made his appearance in the dining-room and took his seat at the table. This mere sitting, however, appeared to be his whole conception of dining; he seemed as unaware of his mother's urging food upon him ...
— Gentle Julia • Booth Tarkington

... the clerk, 'put me through to Crecy & Brown, will you?' Then a few moments went by. 'Oh! thank you very much,' was his reply, and he restored the receiver noisily to its position on the rack. 'They have no ...
— The Lever - A Novel • William Dana Orcutt

... had not yet come, and the guards of the day had not yet been relieved. They had had a little leisure at noon for dinner, and during the interim Simon and Tison were on guard, and had kept the queen on the rack with their mockery and their abusive words. In order to avoid the language and the looks of these men, she had fled into the children's room, to whom the princess, in her trustful calmness and unshaken equanimity, was assigning ...
— Marie Antoinette And Her Son • Louise Muhlbach

... former trust went widely astray, perhaps their successors have not exactly kept the line, by advancing the leases to a rack rent: It is worth considering, whether the tenant of an expiring lease, hath not in equity, a kind of reversionary right, which ought to favour him with the refusal of another term, at one third under the value, in houses, and one fourth in land; this ...
— An History of Birmingham (1783) • William Hutton

... if your 'hatter' won't fraternize?" asked Mr. Crewe. "You young men are naturally sanguine, but I know these diggers. They may be communicative enough over a glass, but next day the rack and thumbscrews wouldn't extract ...
— The Tale of Timber Town • Alfred Grace

... he said as he laid his gun back in its rack. "I'll get into my hip-boots and get them before the water-rats steal what we've earned. They are skilled enough to get a decoy now and then. The marsh is ...
— A Village of Vagabonds • F. Berkeley Smith

... letter from the rack in the hall at college, and torn it open as she crossed to the Women's room. The world seemed to dissolve away from around her, she ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... how convenient!" exclaimed Selma. "I haven't felt this way since the first time I went to the circus." She pointed to a rack from which were suspended thin silk dressing gowns of various rather gay patterns. "What are those?" ...
— The Conflict • David Graham Phillips

... closet, but a large, well lighted and convenient apartment, furnished with every possible appurtenance for the toilet. Here he found his trunk, his valise, his dressing case, all unpacked—his brushes and combs laid out in order, his dinner suit hung over a rack—every requirement of his toilet in complete readiness as if prepared by an experienced valet. All this he had been accustomed to do, and expected to do, for himself. Who had served him? Had Corona and ...
— For Woman's Love • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... a hard task, making one's self a brick without straw," answered Geoffrey. "Think of not having the luxury of being disagreeable—to be always on the rack to perpetrate ...
— The King's Men - A Tale of To-morrow • Robert Grant, John Boyle O'Reilly, J. S. Dale, and John T.

... the strange interruption left a jarring note behind it, and to ease the tenseness the older man stepped forward and, taking from a rack near by one of several glass tubes filled with yellow liquid, held it ...
— The Story of Sugar • Sara Ware Bassett

... Westminster, and to Mrs. Martin's, who is not come to town from her husband at Portsmouth. So drank only at Cragg's with Doll, and so to the Swan, and there baiser a new maid that is there, and so to White Hall again, to a Committee of Tangier, where I see all things going to rack in the business of the Corporation, and consequently in the place, by Middleton's going. Thence walked a little with Creed, who tells me he hears how fine my horses and coach are, and advises me to avoid being noted for ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... ruts and rocks, their progress as a fertile valley. If they mobilize their dread-naughts they unsheath a sword. If their army surrenders they are thrown to earth. If they are oppressed they are on the rack or under the harrow. ...
— Public Opinion • Walter Lippmann

... smallest application. I remember one passage by heart, which is really only a fair specimen of the whole: 'These missionaries, my Lord, loving only filthy lucre, bid us to eat Lord-supper with Pariahs as lives ugly, handling dead men, drinking rack and toddy, sweeping the streets, mean fellows altogether, base persons, contrary to that which Saint Paul saith: I determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ ...
— Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay • George Otto Trevelyan

... the ferry in less than an hour. Portions of the route were sheltered by timber along the river, but once as I crossed a rise opposite a large bend, I sighted a posse in pursuit several miles to the rear. On reaching Shepherd's, fortunately for me a single horse stood at the hitch-rack. The merchant and owner of the horse came to the door as I dashed up, and never offering a word of explanation, I changed horses. Luckily the owner of the horse was Red Earnest, a friend of mine, and feeling that they would not ...
— A Texas Matchmaker • Andy Adams

... stretch me upon such a rack! to put me to such straits! If it were not for Abel! If it were not for my dear, noble, generous husband, I could brave the worst for myself—and, yes, even for my children! I could take them and go away into exile, poverty, obscurity. I could meet any fate for myself, or for ...
— Her Mother's Secret • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... train to the charge of his successor. As many complaints are made by English travellers of the incivility of American conductors, I may say that the first conductor I met found me, when he was on his rounds to collect his counter-checks, lolling back on my seat, with my hat high above me in the rack. I made a motion as if to get up for it, when he said, "Pray don't disturb yourself, sir; I'll reach up for it." Not all the conductors I met afterwards were as polite as this, but he has as good a right to pose as the type of American conductor as the overbearing ...
— The Land of Contrasts - A Briton's View of His American Kin • James Fullarton Muirhead

... it is the Inquisition. Mr. Hudson, stand firm, and let us agree to make no confessions without conferring previously with each other! They may put us on the rack first. Mr. Mallet, I see also," Christina added, "has something ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... ancient and generous as the blood of the nobles. And then the fare is something beyond your ordinary gross terrestrial food! Sea and land are ransacked to supply it; and the invention of six ingenious cooks kept eternally upon the rack to make their art hold pace with, and if possible enhance, the ...
— The Fortunes of Nigel • Sir Walter Scott

... of deer and chamois skin were spread; in a rack of oak, ornamented with splendid antlers and studded with the sharp, pointed horns of the chamois, were suspended guns of modern make, and brightly polished, formidable hunting knives. The table in the center of the ...
— The Princess Virginia • C. N. Williamson

... worst. In Italy, at the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Church thought it necessary to deal with questions of this sort by rack and fagot. In 1316 Peter of Abano, famous as a physician, having promulgated this with other obnoxious doctrines in science, only escaped the Inquisition by death; and in 1327 Cecco d'Ascoli, noted as an astronomer, ...
— History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom • Andrew Dickson White

... thousand inhabitants. It was located at the head of Clearwater Lake, a beautiful sheet of water about two miles long and half a mile wide and containing a number of picturesque islands. At the head of the lake was the Rick Rack River, running down from the hills and woods beyond. Up in the hills it was a wild and rocky watercourse containing a number of dangerous rapids, but where it passed Colby Hall it was a broad and fairly deep stream, joining the lake at a point where there were two rocky islands. The distance ...
— The Rover Boys at Colby Hall - or The Struggles of the Young Cadets • Arthur M. Winfield

... "because I do not understand just what you propose to do. Are you going to impoverish yourself and the whole family? Are you thinking of turning over your farms to these stupid peasants who will let them go to rack and ruin? Will you give your property to the village council who will drink it up in a month? You know how much money Peter needs; he is a member of twelve first-class clubs. And Olga's husband is ...
— The Valley of Vision • Henry Van Dyke

... her a haggard face. And she had for him, in the agony and the abasement of his soul, still quivering from the rack of emotion that alone could have extorted his confession—she had for him the half-smile, tender and compassionate, that it is given to most men to see but once in a lifetime on the lips and in the eyes of the woman beloved. ...
— Alias The Lone Wolf • Louis Joseph Vance

... star-spangled like the roof of Galla Placidia's tomb. Ravenna lies low to west, the pine-wood stretches away in long monotony to east. There is nothing else to be seen except the spreading marsh, bounded by dim snowy Alps and purple Apennines, so very far away that the level rack of summer clouds seem more attainable and real. What sunsets and sunrises that tower must see; what glaring lurid afterglows in August, when the red light scowls upon the pestilential fen; what sheets of sullen vapour rolling over it in autumn; ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Second Series • John Addington Symonds

... the midnight wind, And courted sleep in vain, While thoughts like these have oft combined To rack the wearied brain. And even when slumber, soft and deep, Has seen the eyelid close, The restless soul, which cannot sleep, Has stray'd ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volumes I-VI. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... "Yes; he was. But you must remember Lord Heyton is very much upset; when one's nerves are on the rack, the least thing, ...
— The Woman's Way • Charles Garvice

... to my room. Have I yet described it? Nine feet six by seven wide by seven high At the for'ard end a bunk overtopped by two ports looking out upon the main deck. At the after end a settee over which is my book-case. A chest of drawers, a shelf, a mirror, a framed photograph, a bottle-rack, and a shaving-strop adorn the starboard bulkhead. A door, placed midway in the opposite side, is hung with many clothes. A curtain screens my slumbers, and a ventilator in the ceiling chills my toes when turned to the wind. Ceiling and walls are painted dead white, with red wainscotting ...
— An Ocean Tramp • William McFee

... was crowded, seized hold of the feeble old man, and dragged him out by the hair of his head, with horrid oaths and imprecations. He was trailed in this manner through the mire to the house of the municipal judge, that he might be put to the rack, and forced to discover his accomplices; but he expired on the way. Many other victims were sacrificed to the popular fury. One Mora, who appears to have been half a chemist and half a barber, was accused of being ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... that has come to forbid the betrothal? Long had it stood there unseen, a guest uninvited, unwelcomed; Over its clouded eyes there had passed at times an expression Softening the gloom and revealing the warm heart hidden beneath them, As when across the sky the driving rack of the rain-cloud Grows for a moment thin, and betrays the sun by its brightness. Once it had lifted its hand, and moved its lips, but was silent, As if an iron will had mastered the fleeting intention. But when were ended the troth and the prayer and the last benediction, Into ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... sacque * And shone in dark men's heart to rack: Quoth I, 'Doss pass and greet me not? * Joying the hateful envious pack? Thy garment's like thy locks and like * My lot, three blacks on ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4 • Richard F. Burton

... "if we sacrificed it to them, it might be a doubtful benefit. I often thank my stars I wasn't born in the age of martyrs. If J. had been, I'm sure the very sight of the rack or the faggot would have made ...
— The Mystery of a Turkish Bath • E.M. Gollan (AKA Rita)

... old enough to be trusted, it was his proud privilege to take the minister's tired horse to water and to fill the rack with sweet hay for his refreshment before they all went off to the service together; and very frequently when the minister was leaving he would take Frank up beside him for a drive as far as the cross-roads, not losing the chance to say a kindly and ...
— The Young Woodsman - Life in the Forests of Canada • J. McDonald Oxley

... record, against any such misnomer. The creature possessed no single equine element. Experience has satisfied me that horses stand on four legs; the horse in question stood upon three. Horses may either pace, trot, run, rack, or gallop; but mine made all the five movements at once. I think I may call his gait an eccentric stumble. That he had endurance I admit; for he survived perpetual beating; and his beauty might have been apparent to an anatomist, but would be scouted by the world at large. I asked, ruefully, ...
— Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, - and His Romaunt Abroad During the War • George Alfred Townsend

... all silent. She lays her white hands On the brow of the boy. A light finger is pressing Softly, softly the sore wounds: the hot blood-stain'd dressing Slips from them. A comforting quietude steals Through the rack'd weary frame; and, throughout it, he feels The slow sense of a merciful, mild neighborhood. Something smooths the toss'd pillow. Beneath a gray hood Of rough serge, two intense tender eyes are ...
— Lucile • Owen Meredith

... his time, and witches and enchanters, and once he was lost in a fierce storm at midnight in the mountains, and by the glare of the lightning had seen the Wild Huntsman rage on the blast with his specter dogs chasing after him through the driving cloud-rack. Also he had seen an incubus once, and several times he had seen the great bat that sucks the blood from the necks of people while they are asleep, fanning them softly with its wings and so keeping ...
— The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories • Mark Twain

... [Mixture of air and water.] Bubble. [Cloud.] — N. bubble, foam, froth, head, spume, lather, suds, spray, surf, yeast, barm[obs3], spindrift. cloud, vapor, fog, mist, haze, steam, geyser; scud, messenger, rack, nimbus; cumulus, woolpack[obs3], cirrus, stratus; cirrostratus, cumulostratus; cirrocumulus; mackerel sky, mare's tale, dirty sky; curl cloud; frost smoke; thunderhead. [Science of clouds] nephelognosy[obs3]; nephograph[obs3], nephology[obs3]. effervescence, fermentation; ...
— Roget's Thesaurus • Peter Mark Roget

... all: Both to the People, and the Lords that sway That Herd, and Ladies whom those Lords obey. And what's the Loadstone can such guests invite But moves on two Poles, Profit and Delight, Which will be soon, as on the Rack, confest When every one is tickled with a jest: And that pure Fletcher, able to subdue A Melancholy more then Burton knew. And though upon the by, to his designes The Native may learne English from his ...
— The Works of Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher in Ten Volumes - Volume I. • Beaumont and Fletcher

... implied it. You deserve a horrid Limerick, and I shall make one myself. Wait a moment, while I rack my brains. Oh, now ...
— The New Girl at St. Chad's - A Story of School Life • Angela Brazil

... they knew of no further mischief of his against his father; but when they were more severely tortured, and were in the utmost extremity, and the tormentors, out of compliance with Antipater, stretched the rack to the very utmost, they said that Alexander bare great ill-will and innate hatred to his father; and that he told them that Herod despaired to live much longer; and that, in order to cover his great age, he colored his hair black, and endeavored to ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... about ten of them as they got into the train, but when they had deposited various objects on the rack, such as rifles, haversacks, and kit-bags like partially deflated airships, the number ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 15, 1916 • Various

... giant. No wonder the Cirque Rocambeau had come to grief, if it depended on such canaries as Lackaday. Didn't he know he was there to make the audience laugh?—not to give a representation of Monsieur Mounet-Sully elongated by the rack. ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... heaven! that anything in the likeness of man should suffer these rack'd extremities, for the uttering of ...
— Cynthia's Revels • Ben Jonson

... partner greeted her cordially and she sat down upon a box at the end of the counter and inspected the establishment. It was not very large, but there was an amazing variety in its stock. Muslin, tape, calico, tacks, groceries, cases of shoes, a rack with spools of thread, another containing a few pocket knives, barrels, half a dozen salt codfish swinging from nails overhead, some suits of oilskins hanging beside them, a tumbled heap of children's caps and hats, even a glass-covered ...
— Mary-'Gusta • Joseph C. Lincoln

... except according to an absurd horizontal system, and none exceeding twenty per cent. It was then pressed through under the great emergency of the public necessities. But I may now recur to what I then said, namely, that its principle was false and dangerous, and that, when its time came, it would rack and convulse our system. I said we should not get rid of it without throes and spasms. Has not this been as predicted? We have felt the spasms and throes of this convulsion; but we have at last gone through them, and begin to breathe again. It is something that that act is at last got rid of; ...
— The Great Speeches and Orations of Daniel Webster • Daniel Webster

... understood, made reference to the unfortunate influence of that great man on the religious opinions of his time. Jacobi, by a flash of inspiration, divined that he had confused Moliere with Voltaire, and assuming a manner of extreme suavity, he put his victim on the rack, and tortured him with affected explanations and interrogations, until Madeleine was in a manner forced to interrupt and end the scene. But even when the senator was not to be lured into a trap, he could not escape assault. The baron in such a case would cross the lines and attack ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... have: (How right the blockhead hits!) Yet more to rack thy heart, and break thy brain, Thy niece has been before the ...
— The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian • John Dryden

... bodies of the two seamen to be thrown overboard, Selak, the most courageous, entered the cabin, took a couple of muskets from the rack, and some powder and ball from the mate's berth, and returning to his followers, bade ...
— John Corwell, Sailor And Miner; and, Poisonous Fish - 1901 • Louis Becke

... in reply to my question. He walked off, taking with him the door mat, an umbrella that stood in the hall, four coats and three hats that hung on the rack, besides numerous other small portable articles of vertu that would have come handy for a ...
— Punchinello Vol. 2, No. 28, October 8, 1870 • Various

... the governor at each change of load turns the right and left hand screws to add or take away lap, as the load demands an earlier or later cut off; in other cases the governor moves a rack in mesh with a gear by which the valve sections are brought closer together or are separated. The difficulty with the case where the hand wheel is turned by hand is that the cut off is fixed where you leave it, and governing can only be at the throttle. For this reason anywhere near full boiler ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 787, January 31, 1891 • Various

... am old and grey, My bones are rack'd with pain, And time speeds fast away— But why should I complain? There are joys in life's young morn That dwell not with the old. Like the flowers the wind hath torn, From the ...
— Roughing it in the Bush • Susanna Moodie

... College. He is to be strictly examined after evensong today. If he refuse to give up the names of all to whom he has sold his books, and who have listened to his teachings, they declare he will be sent to the Tower to be examined by the rack." ...
— For the Faith • Evelyn Everett-Green

... consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out. It is always near at hand, and sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware; whereas a lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack; and one trick needs a great many more to make ...
— Many Thoughts of Many Minds - A Treasury of Quotations from the Literature of Every Land and Every Age • Various

... hurried out to the waiting automobile. Both stopped only to take coats and caps from the rack in the hall. ...
— The Automobile Girls At Washington • Laura Dent Crane

... steady use of the faculties under a central purpose gives strength and power, while the use of faculties without an aim or end only weakens them. The mind must be focused on a definite end, or, like machinery without a balance-wheel, it will rack itself to pieces. ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... brings in the toast rack now she balances it carefully, remembering the morning when she dropped it on the floor, but picked up the slices and offered them to Salemina. Never shall I forget that dear martyr's expression, which was as if she had made up her mind to renounce ...
— Penelope's Irish Experiences • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... of the slightest of which—all unknown to you—may send you forth upon a path of diseased and tortured existence—in which the body from whence you cannot escape shall be to you as a chamber of horrors—a place of the thumbscrew, the rack and the fagot. What kind of a God is that who allows the aged to linger out in a miserable prolongation of wretched days, a burden to themselves, a burden to others, and takes away the widow's only son —her only support? Who is the ...
— Christ, Christianity and the Bible • I. M. Haldeman

... the court at last, and came to the place of punishment. Many a piteous sight and sound was there—cracking of whips, shrieks of the burning, rack and gibbet and wheel; Chimera tearing, Cerberus devouring; all tortured together, kings and slaves, governors and paupers, rich and beggars, and all repenting their sins. A few of them, the lately dead, we recognized. These would turn away and shrink from observation; or if they met our eyes, ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume I (of X) - Greece • Various

... can make up for the torture A is suffering to-day. I suppose, dealing so much with individuals as I do, I am inclined to individualise like a woman. I think of units rather than of the mass. At this moment I have before me a patient now left suffering pain as acute as any the rack ever inflicted. How does it affect his case that centuries later such pain ...
— Cecilia de Noel • Lanoe Falconer

... grew worse. Three days after our arrival at Kenemish I could not touch them to the floor. The doctor and I lay on couches side by side. I could not even bear the weight of the bed-clothes on my feet, and Dunbar built a rack from the hoops of an old flour barrel to protect them. Under the doctor's direction, Mrs. Dunbar every day removed the bandages from my feet, cleansed them with carbolic acid water and rebandaged them. ...
— The Lure of the Labrador Wild • Dillon Wallace

... traitor to these poor burned bodies if I came here to talk good-fellowship. We have tried you good people of the public and we have found you wanting. The old Inquisition had its rack and its thumbscrews and its instruments of torture with iron teeth. We know what these things are to-day: the iron teeth are our necessities, the thumbscrews the high-powered and swift machinery close to which we must work, and the rack is ...
— The Nine-Tenths • James Oppenheim

... Perhapps the threatninge weather kept him backe: Itt was a trobled skye, the soon set blusheing, The rack cam swiftly rushing from the west; And these presadges of a future storme, Unwillinge for to trust her tendernes Unto such feares, might make him fayle his hower; And yet with purpose what hee slack't last night Howe ...
— A Collection Of Old English Plays, Vol. IV. • Editor: A.H. Bullen

... tortured with the belief that his success in life had not equalled his merits. As AEnone entered, he was bending over a shield, and earnestly engaged in burnishing its brazen mouldings. At his side leaned a short sword, awaiting similar attention, and in a rack beside him were a number of weapons of different varieties and sizes, which had already submitted to his restorative skill, and ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 5, May, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... captain," said the doctor, and he took a bright glass measure from where it hung by its foot in a little rack, safe from falling by the rolling of the vessel; "I was just going to test these spirits, and I thought I should like you ...
— The Ocean Cat's Paw - The Story of a Strange Cruise • George Manville Fenn

... the bright Queen who rules the tide Now forward thrown, now bridled back, Smile o'er each answering smile, then hide Her grandeur in the transient rack, And yield her power, and veil her pride, And move ...
— Ionica • William Cory (AKA William Johnson)



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