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1 definition found
 for To live at rack and manger
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Rack \Rack\, n. [Probably fr. D. rek, rekbank, a rack, rekken to
     stretch; akin to G. reck, reckbank, a rack, recken to
     stretch, Dan. r[ae]kke, Sw. r[aum]cka, Icel. rekja to spread
     out, Goth. refrakjan to stretch out; cf. L. porrigere, Gr.
     'ore`gein. [root]115. Cf. Right, a., Ratch.]
     1. An instrument or frame used for stretching, extending,
        retaining, or displaying, something. Specifically:
        (a) An engine of torture, consisting of a large frame,
            upon which the body was gradually stretched until,
            sometimes, the joints were dislocated; -- formerly
            used judicially for extorting confessions from
            criminals or suspected persons.
            [1913 Webster]
                  During the troubles of the fifteenth century, a
                  rack was introduced into the Tower, and was
                  occasionally used under the plea of political
                  necessity.                        --Macaulay.
            [1913 Webster]
        (b) An instrument for bending a bow.
        (c) A grate on which bacon is laid.
        (d) A frame or device of various construction for holding,
            and preventing the waste of, hay, grain, etc.,
            supplied to beasts.
        (e) A frame on which articles are deposited for keeping or
            arranged for display; as, a clothes rack; a bottle
            rack, etc.
        (f) (Naut.) A piece or frame of wood, having several
            sheaves, through which the running rigging passes; --
            called also rack block. Also, a frame to hold shot.
        (g) (Mining) A frame or table on which ores are separated
            or washed.
        (h) A frame fitted to a wagon for carrying hay, straw, or
            grain on the stalk, or other bulky loads.
        (i) A distaff.
            [1913 Webster]
     2. (Mech.) A bar with teeth on its face, or edge, to work
        with those of a wheel, pinion, or worm, which is to drive
        it or be driven by it.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. That which is extorted; exaction. [Obs.] --Sir E. Sandys.
        [1913 Webster]
     Mangle rack. (Mach.) See under Mangle. n.
     Rack block. (Naut.) See def. 1
        (f), above.
     Rack lashing, a lashing or binding where the rope is
        tightened, and held tight by the use of a small stick of
        wood twisted around.
     Rack rail (Railroads), a toothed rack, laid as a rail, to
        afford a hold for teeth on the driving wheel of a
        locomotive for climbing steep gradients, as in ascending a
     Rack saw, a saw having wide teeth.
     Rack stick, the stick used in a rack lashing.
     To be on the rack, to suffer torture, physical or mental.
     To live at rack and manger, to live on the best at
        another's expense. [Colloq.]
     To put to the rack, to subject to torture; to torment.
        [1913 Webster]
              A fit of the stone puts a king to the rack, and
              makes him as miserable as it does the meanest
              subject.                              --Sir W.
        [1913 Webster]

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