Dictionary: RAC-COON' – RACK

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An American quadruped, the Procyon lotor, a carnivorous mammal. It is somewhat larger than a fox, and its fur is deemed valuable, next to that of the beaver. This animal lodges in a hollow tree, feeds occasionally on vegetables, and its flesh is palatable food. It inhabits North America, from Canada to the tropics. – Belknap. Dict. Nat. Hist.

RACE, n.1 [Fr. race, from the It. razza; Sp. raza, a race, a ray, and raiz, a root, L. radix; Russ. rod, a generation, race; roju, to beget. The primary sense of the root is to thrust a shoot; the L. radix and radius having the same original. This word coincides in origin with rod, ray, radiate, &c. Class Rd.]

  1. The lineage of a family, or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called the stock. A race is the series of descendants indefinitely. Thus all mankind are called the race of Adam; the Israelites are of the race of Abraham and Jacob. Thus we speak of a race of kings, the race of Clovis or Charlemagne; a race of nobles, &c. Hence the long race of Alban fathers come. – Dryden.
  2. A generation; a family of descendants. A rare of youthful and unhandled colts. – Shak.
  3. A particular breed; as, a race of mules; a race of horses; a race of sheep. – Chapman. Of such a race, no matter who is king. – Murphy.
  4. A root; as, race-ginger, ginger in the root or not pulverized.
  5. A small artificial canal or water course, leading from the dam of a stream, to the machinery which it drives; sometimes called the head-race, in opposition to the tail-race.
  6. A particular strength or taste of wine; a kind of tartness. [Query, does this belong to this root or to the following?] – Temple. Massenger. Tail-race, the water course leading from the bottom of a water-wheel.

RACE, n.2 [D. ras; Sw. resa, to go; Dan. rejse, a going or course; L. gradior, gressus, with the prefix g; Ir. ratha, a running; reatham, to run; W. graz, a step, from rhaz, a going; allied to W. rhêd, a race; rhedu, to run, to race; allied to Eng. ride. See Class Rd, No. 5, and 9.]

  1. A running; a rapid course or motion, either on the feet, on horseback or in a carriage, &c.; particularly, a contest in running; a running in competition for a prize. The race was one of the exercises of the Grecian games. – Encyc. I wield the gauntlet and I run the race. – Pope.
  2. Any running with speed. The flight of many birds is swifter than the race of any beast. – Bacon.
  3. A progress; a course; a movement or progression of any kind. My race of glory run. – Pope. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us. – Heb. xii.
  4. Course; train; process; as, the prosecution and race of the war. [Not now used.] Bacon.
  5. A strong or rapid current of water, or the channel or passage for such a current; as, a mill-race.
  6. By way of distinction, a contest in the running of horses; generally in the plural. The races commence in October.

RACE, v.i.

To run swiftly; to run or contend in running. The animals raced over the ground.


Ginger in the root or not pulverized.


A horse bred or kept for running in contest; a horse that runs in competition. – Addison.

RAC-E-MA'TION, n. [L. racemus, a cluster.]

  1. A cluster, as of grapes. – Brown.
  2. The cultivation of clusters of grapes. – Burnet.

RA'CEME, n. [L. racemus, a bunch of berries.]

In botany, a species of inflorescence, consisting of a common peduncle with short and equal lateral pedicels; as a string of currants. It is simple or compound, naked or leafy, &c. A species of inflorescence in which a number of flowers with short and equal pedicels, stand upon a common slender axis. – Lindley.


Having a raceme.


An acid found in the tartar obtained from certain vineyards on the Rhine.

RAC-E-MIF'ER-OUS, a. [L. racemus, a cluster, and fero, to bear.]

Bearing racemes, as the currant. – Asiat. Res.


Growing in racemes. – Encyc.

RA'CER, n. [from race.]

A runner; one that contends in a race. And bade the nimblest racer seize the prize. – Pope.

RACH, n. [Sax. ræcc; D. brak; Fr. braque.]

A setting dog.

RA-CHIL'LA, n. [Gr. ραχις, a spine.]

A branch of inflorescence; the zigzag center on which the florets are arranged in the spikelets of grasses.

RA'CHIS, n. [Gr.]

In botany, a peduncle that proceeds in a right line from the base to the apex of the inflorescence. This term is sometimes applied to the stipe of a fern, but not properly. Lindley.


Pertaining to the muscles of the back; rickety.

RA-CHI'TIS, n. [Gr.]

This term implies inflammation of the spine, but it is applied to the disease called Rickets, which is a mere corruption of rachitis.

RA'CI-NESS, n. [See Racy.]

The quality of being racy.

RA'CING, ppr.

Running swiftly; running or contending in a race.

RACK, n.1 [D. rek, rack, stretch; rekker, to stretch; Sax. racan, ræcan, Eng. to reach; G. recken, to stretch; reckbank, a rack. See Reach and Break. Class Rg, No. 18, 21, 33.]

  1. An engine of torture, used for extorting confessions from criminals or suspected persons. The rack is entirely unknown in free countries.
  2. Torture; extreme pain; anguish. A fit of the stone puts king to the rack and makes him as miserable as it does the meanest subject. – Temple.
  3. Any instrument for stretching or extending any thing; as, a rack for bending a bow. – Temple.
  4. A grate on which bacon is laid.
  5. A wooden frame of open work in which hay is laid for horses and cattle for feeding.
  6. The frame of bones of an animal; a skeleton. We say, a rack of bones.
  7. A frame of timber on a ship's bowsprit. – Mar. Dict.

RACK, n.2 [Sax. hracca, the neck; Gr. ῥαχις, the spine; W. rhac; D. kraag, G. kragen, Sw. and Dan. krage, a collar; Old Eng. crag.]

The neck and spine of a fore quarter of veal or mutton. [The two foregoing words are doubtless from one original.]

RACK, n.3 [Sax. rec, steam; recan, to exhale; D. rook, rooken; G. rauch, rauchen; Sw. rök, röka; Dan, rog, roger. See Reek.]

Properly, vapor; hence, thin flying broken clouds, or portion of floating vapor in the sky. The winds in the upper region, which move the clouds above, which we call the rack. – Bacon. The great globe itself, / Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, / And, like this unsubstantial pageant, faded, / Leave not a rack behind. – Shak. It is disputed, however, whether rack in this passage should not be wreck.

RACK, n.4 [for arrack. See Arrack.]

Among the Tartars, a spirituous liquor made of mare's milk which has become sour and is then distilled. – Encyc.

RACK, n.5

In machinery, a rectilineal sliding piece, with teeth cut on its edge for working with a wheel.