|Origin:||Old English wræc 'unhappiness, punishment'|
a frame or shelf that has bars or hooks on which you can put things: ➔ luggage rack, roof-rack
a wine rack
a magazine rack
a piece of equipment that was used in the past to make people suffer severe pain by stretching their bodies:
Thousands of people were tortured on the rack.
3 British English informal
in a very difficult situation:
The company is now well and truly on the rack.
if a building goes to rack and ruin, it gradually gets into a very bad condition because no one has looked after it:
The house had been left to go to rack and ruin.
5 American English
a three-sided frame used for arranging the balls at the start of a game of snooker or pool
a fairly large piece of meat from the side of an animal, that contains several rib bones
7 American English
if you can buy something off the rack, you can buy it in a shop rather than having it specially made [= off the peg British English]
A lot of designer clothes are now available off the rack.