Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR RACKING

The torment was far too racking for such futile fashion of lamentation.

Charles had a racking headache, consequent on motoring before food.

So he fetched a sigh that sounded as if 'twas racking loose the foundations and commenced.

I walked home, racking my brains to find the answer to this new conundrum.

Are you racking your brain for some way of spoiling my little plans?

A racking sob shook her when she first tried to speak––and she tried again.

I bought them for you, and I have been racking my brain to find how I could make you accept them.

Their minds had had no concept of such horror, such relentless, racking pain.

For racking the wine, we should have: 1st a large brass faucet.

These are the pains of adjustment, as racking as the pains of birth.

WORD ORIGIN

"frame with bars," c.1300, possibly from Middle Dutch rec "framework," literally "something stretched out, related to recken (modern rekken) "stretch out," cognate with Old English reccan "to stretch out," from Proto-Germanic *rak- (cf. Old Saxon rekkian, Old Frisian reza, Old Norse rekja, Old High German recchen, German recken, Gothic uf-rakjan "to stretch out"), from PIE *rog-, from root *reg- "to move in a straight line" (see regal).

Meaning "instrument of torture" first recorded early 15c., perhaps from German rackbank, originally an implement for stretching leather, etc. Mechanical meaning "toothed bar" is from 1797 (see pinion). Meaning "set of antlers" is first attested 1945, American English; hence slang sense of "a woman's breasts" (especially if large), by 1991. Meaning "framework for displaying clothes" is from 1948; hence off the rack (1951) of clothing, as opposed to tailored.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR RACKING

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.