rack 1 of 2

rack

2 of 2

verb

Synonym Chooser

How is the word rack different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of rack are afflict, torment, torture, and try. While all these words mean "to inflict on a person something that is hard to bear," rack stresses straining or wrenching.

a body racked by pain

When would afflict be a good substitute for rack?

Although the words afflict and rack have much in common, afflict is a general term and applies to the causing of pain or suffering or of acute annoyance, embarrassment, or any distress.

ills that afflict the elderly

When is it sensible to use torment instead of rack?

The meanings of torment and rack largely overlap; however, torment suggests persecution or the repeated inflicting of suffering or annoyance.

a horse tormented by flies

Where would torture be a reasonable alternative to rack?

The words torture and rack can be used in similar contexts, but torture adds the implication of causing unbearable pain or suffering.

tortured by a sense of guilt

When is try a more appropriate choice than rack?

The words try and rack are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, try suggests imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or of self-control.

children often try their parents' patience

Thesaurus Entries Near rack

Cite this Entry

“Rack.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/rack. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on rack

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!