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Rack

.

A flying scud, drifting clouds. (Icelandic, rek, drift; verb, recka, to drive.)

“The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve

And … leave not a rack behind.”


Shakespeare: Tempest, iv. 1.

Rack. The instrument of torture so called was a frame in which a man was fastened, and his arms and legs were stretched till the body was lifted by the tension several inches from the floor. Not unfrequently the limbs were forced thereby out of their sockets. Coke says that the rack was first introduced into the Tower by the Duke of Exeter, constable of the Tower, in 1447, whence it was called the “Duke of Exeter’s daughter.” (Dutch, rak; verb, rakken, to stretch; Danish, rag; Anglo-Saxon, reac.)

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Rabelais Dodge
Rabelaisian Licence
Rabicano or Rabican
Raboin or Rabuino (French)
Rabsheka
Raby (Aurora)
Races
Races (Lengths run)
Rachaders
Rache
Rack
Rack-rent
Rack and Manger
Rack and Ruin
Racket
Racy
Racy Style
Radcliffe Library (Oxford)
Radegaste
Radegund
Radevore

See Also:

Rack