Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Race (rās) transitive verb To raze. [ Obsolete] Spenser.

Race (rās) noun [ Old French raïz , Latin radix , -icis . See Radix .] A root. "A race or two of ginger." Shak.

Race ginger , ginger in the root, or not pulverized.

Race noun [ French race ; confer Pr. & Spanish raza , Italian razza ; all from Old High German reiza line, akin to English write . See Write .]


1. The descendants of a common ancestor; a family, tribe, people, or nation, believed or presumed to belong to the same stock; a lineage; a breed.

The whole race of mankind.
Shak.

Whence the long race of Alban fathers come.
Dryden.

» Naturalists and ethnographers divide mankind into several distinct varieties, or races. Cuvier refers them all to three, Pritchard enumerates seven, Agassiz eight, Pickering describes eleven. One of the common classifications is that of Blumenbach, who makes five races: the Caucasian , or white race, to which belong the greater part of the European nations and those of Western Asia; the Mongolian , or yellow race, occupying Tartary, China, Japan, etc.; the Ethiopian , or negro race, occupying most of Africa (except the north), Australia, Papua, and other Pacific Islands; the American , or red race, comprising the Indians of North and South America; and the Malayan , or brown race, which occupies the islands of the Indian Archipelago, etc. Many recent writers classify the Malay and American races as branches of the Mongolian. See Illustration in Appendix.

2. Company; herd; breed.

For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds.
Shak.

3. (Botany) A variety of such fixed character that it may be propagated by seed.

4. Peculiar flavor, taste, or strength, as of wine; that quality, or assemblage of qualities, which indicates origin or kind, as in wine; hence, characteristic flavor; smack. "A race of heaven." Shak.

Is it [ the wine] of the right race ?
Massinger.

5. Hence, characteristic quality or disposition. [ Obsolete]

And now I give my sensual race the rein.
Shak.

Some . . . great race of fancy or judgment.
Sir W. Temple.

Syn. -- Lineage; line; family; house; breed; offspring; progeny; issue.

Race noun [ Middle English ras , res , rees , Anglo-Saxon rǣs a rush, running; akin to Icelandic rās course, race. √118.]
1. A progress; a course; a movement or progression.

2. Esp., swift progress; rapid course; a running.

The flight of many birds is swifter than the race of any beasts.
Bacon.

3. Hence: The act or process of running in competition; a contest of speed in any way, as in running, riding, driving, skating, rowing, sailing; in the plural, usually, a meeting for contests in the running of horses; as, he attended the races .

The race is not to the swift.
Eccl. ix. 11.

I wield the gauntlet, and I run the race .
Pope.

4. Competitive action of any kind, especially when prolonged; hence, career; course of life.

My race of glory run, and race of shame.
Milton.

5. A strong or rapid current of water, or the channel or passage for such a current; a powerful current or heavy sea, sometimes produced by the meeting of two tides; as, the Portland Race ; the Race of Alderney.

6. The current of water that turns a water wheel, or the channel in which it flows; a mill race.

» The part of the channel above the wheel is sometimes called the headrace , the part below, the tailrace .

7. (Machinery) A channel or guide along which a shuttle is driven back and forth, as in a loom, sewing machine, etc.

Race cloth , a cloth worn by horses in racing, having pockets to hold the weights prescribed. -- Race course . (a) The path, generally circular or elliptical, over which a race is run. (b) Same as Race way , below. -- Race cup , a cup given as a prize to the victor in a race. -- Race glass , a kind of field glass. -- Race horse . (a) A horse that runs in competition; specifically, a horse bred or kept for running races. (b) A breed of horses remarkable for swiftness in running. (c) (Zoology) The steamer duck. (d) (Zoology) A mantis. -- Race knife , a cutting tool with a blade that is hooked at the point, for marking outlines, on boards or metals, as by a pattern, -- used in shipbuilding. -- Race saddle , a light saddle used in racing. -- Race track . Same as Race course (a) , above. -- Race way , the canal for the current that drives a water wheel.

Race intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Raced (rāst); present participle & verbal noun Racing (rā"sĭng).]
1. To run swiftly; to contend in a race; as, the animals raced over the ground; the ships raced from port to port.

2. (Steam Mach.) To run too fast at times, as a marine engine or screw, when the screw is lifted out of water by the action of a heavy sea.

Race transitive verb
1. To cause to contend in a race; to drive at high speed; as, to race horses.

2. To run a race with.

Race suicide The voluntary failure of the members of a race or people to have a number of children sufficient to keep the birth rate equal to the death rate.

Raceabout noun (Nautical) A small sloop-rigged racing yacht carrying about six hundred square feet of sail, distinguished from a knockabout by having a short bowsprit.

Racemate (rȧ*sē"mat) noun (Chemistry) A salt of racemic acid.

Racemation (răs`e*mā"shŭn) noun [ Latin racematio a gleaning, from racemari to glean, racemus a cluster of grapes. See Raceme .]
1. A cluster or bunch, as of grapes. Sir T. Browne.

2. Cultivation or gathering of clusters of grapes. [ R.] Bp. Burnet.

Raceme (rȧ*sēm"; 277) noun [ Latin racemus a bunch of berries, a cluster of grapes. See Raisin .] (Botany) A flower cluster with an elongated axis and many one-flowered lateral pedicels, as in the currant and chokecherry.

Compound raceme , one having the lower pedicels developed into secondary racemes.

Racemed (rȧ*sēmd") adjective (Botany) Arranged in a raceme, or in racemes.

Racemic (rȧ*sē"mĭk) adjective [ Confer French racémique . See Raceme .] (Chemistry) Pertaining to, or designating, an acid found in many kinds of grapes. It is also obtained from tartaric acid, with which it is isomeric, and from sugar, gum, etc., by oxidation. It is a sour white crystalline substance, consisting of a combination of dextrorotatory and levorotatory tartaric acids. Gregory.

Racemiferous (răs`e*mĭf"ẽr*ŭs) adjective [ Latin racemifer bearing clusters; racemus cluster + ferre to bear: confer French racémifère .] (Botany) Bearing racemes, as the currant.

Racemiform (rȧ*sĕm"ĭ*fôrm) adjective Having the form of a raceme. Gray.

Racemose (răs"e*mōs`) adjective [ Latin racemosus full of clusters.] Resembling a raceme; growing in the form of a raceme; as, (Botany) racemose berries or flowers; (Anat.) the racemose glands, in which the ducts are branched and clustered like a raceme. Gray.

Racemous (răs"e*mŭs or rȧ*sē"-; 277) adjective [ Confer French racémeux .] See Racemose .

Racemule (răs"e*mūl) noun (Botany) A little raceme.

Racemulose (rȧ*sĕm"u*lōs`) adjective (Botany) Growing in very small racemes.

Racer (rā"sẽr) noun
1. One who, or that which, races, or contends in a race; esp., a race horse.

And bade the nimblest racer seize the prize.
Pope.

2. (Zoology) The common American black snake.

3. (Mil.) One of the circular iron or steel rails on which the chassis of a heavy gun is turned.

Rach, Rache (răch) }, noun [ Anglo-Saxon ræcc ; akin to Icelandic rakki .] (Zoology) A dog that pursued his prey by scent, as distinguished from the greyhound. [ Obsolete]

Rachialgia (rā`kĭ*ăl"jĭ*ȧ) noun [ New Latin , from Greek "ra`chis backbone + 'a`lgos pain.] (Medicine) A painful affection of the spine; especially, Pott's disease; also, formerly, lead colic.

Rachidian (rȧ*kĭd"ĭ* a n) adjective [ See Rachis .] (Anat. & Zoology) Of or pertaining to the rachis; spinal; vertebral. Same as Rhachidian .

Rachilla (rȧ*kĭl"lȧ) noun [ New Latin ] (Botany) Same as Rhachilla .

Rachiodont (rā"kĭ*o*dŏnt) adjective (Zoology) Same as Rhachiodont .

Rachis (rā"kĭs) noun ; plural English Rachises (-ĕz), Latin Rachides (răk"ĭ*dēz). [ New Latin , from Greek "ra`chis , -ios .] [ Written also rhachis .]
1. (Anat.) The spine; the vertebral column.

2. (Bot. & Zoology) Same as Rhachis .

Rachitic (rȧ*kĭt"ĭk) adjective [ Confer French rachitique . See Rachitis .] (Medicine) Of or pertaining to rachitis; affected by rachitis; rickety.

Rachitis (rȧ*kī"tĭs) noun [ New Latin , from Greek "rachi^tis (sc. nosos ), from "ra`chis , -ios , the spine.] [ Written also rhachitis .]
1. (Medicine) Literally, inflammation of the spine, but commonly applied to the rickets. See Rickets .

2. (Botany) A disease which produces abortion in the fruit or seeds. Henslow.

Rachitome (rā"kĭ*tōm) noun [ French, from Greek "ra`chis , - ios , the spine + te`mnein to cut.] A dissecting instrument for opening the spinal canal. [ Written also rachiotome .]

Racial (rā"sh a l) adjective Of or pertaining to a race or family of men; as, the racial complexion.

Racily (rā"sĭ*lȳ) adverb In a racy manner.

Raciness (rā"sĭ*nĕs) noun The quality of being racy; peculiar and piquant flavor.

The general characteristics of his [ Cobbett's] style were perspicuity, unequaled and inimitable; . . . a purity always simple, and raciness often elegant.
London Times.

Racing (rā"sĭng), adjective & noun from Race , transitive verb & i.

Racing crab (Zoology) , an ocypodian.

Rack (răk) noun Same as Arrack .

Rack noun [ Anglo-Saxon hracca neck, hinder part of the head; confer Anglo-Saxon hraca throat, German rachen throat, English retch .] The neck and spine of a fore quarter of veal or mutton.

Rack noun [ See Wreck .] A wreck; destruction. [ Obsolete, except in a few phrases.]

Rack and ruin , destruction; utter ruin. [ Colloq.] -- To go to rack , to perish; to be destroyed. [ Colloq.] "All goes to rack ." Pepys.

Rack noun [ Prob. from Icelandic rek drift, motion, and akin to reka to drive, and English wrack , wreck . √282.] Thin, flying, broken clouds, or any portion of floating vapor in the sky. Shak.

The winds in the upper region, which move the clouds above, which we call the rack , . . . pass without noise.
Bacon.

And the night rack came rolling up.
C. Kingsley.

Rack intransitive verb To fly, as vapor or broken clouds.

Rack intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Racked (răkt); present participle & verbal noun Racking .] [ See Rack that which stretches, or Rock , v. ] To amble fast, causing a rocking or swaying motion of the body; to pace; -- said of a horse. Fuller.

Rack noun A fast amble.

Rack transitive verb [ Confer Old French vin raqué wine squeezed from the dregs of the grapes.] To draw off from the lees or sediment, as wine.

It is in common practice to draw wine or beer from the lees (which we call racking ), whereby it will clarify much the sooner.
Bacon.

Rack vintage , wine cleansed and drawn from the lees. Cowell.

Rack noun [ Probably from Dutch rek , rek bank, a rack, rekken to stretch; akin to German reck , reck bank, a rack, recken to stretch, Danish række , Swedish räcka , Icelandic rekja to spread out, Goth. refrakjan to stretch out; confer Latin porrigere , Greek 'ore`gein . √115. Confer Right , adjective , 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.

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.

(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) (Nautical) 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.

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.

3. That which is extorted; exaction. [ Obsolete] Sir E. Sandys.

Mangle rack . (Machinery) See under Mangle , noun -- Rack block . (Nautical) 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 mountain. -- 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.

A fit of the stone puts a king to the rack , and makes him as miserable as it does the meanest subject.
Sir W. Temple.

Rack (răk) transitive verb
1. To extend by the application of force; to stretch or strain; specifically, to stretch on the rack or wheel; to torture by an engine which strains the limbs and pulls the joints.

He was racked and miserably tormented.
Foxe.

2. To torment; to torture; to affect with extreme pain or anguish.

Vaunting aloud but racked with deep despair.
Milton.

3. To stretch or strain, in a figurative sense; hence, to harass, or oppress by extortion.

The landlords there shamefully rack their tenants.
Spenser.

They [ landlords] rack their rents an ace too high.
Gascoigne.

Grant that I may never rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof.
Fuller.

Try what my credit can in Venice do;
That shall be racked even to the uttermost.
Shak.

4. (Mining) To wash on a rack, as metals or ore.

5. (Nautical) To bind together, as two ropes, with cross turns of yarn, marline, etc.

To rack one's brains or wits , to exert them to the utmost for the purpose of accomplishing something.

Syn. -- To torture; torment; rend; tear.

Rackabones (răk"ȧ*bōnz`) noun A very lean animal, esp. a horse. [ Colloq. U. S.]

Rackarock noun [ Rack to stretch, strain + a + rock .] A Sprengel explosive consisting of potassium chlorate and mono-nitrobenzene.

Racker (răk"ẽr) noun
1. One who racks.

2. A horse that has a racking gait.

Racket (răk"ĕt) noun [ French raquette ; confer Spanish raqueta , Italian racchetta , which is perhaps for retichetta , and from Latin rete a net (cf. Reticule ); or perhaps from the Arabic; confer Arabic rāha the palm of the hand (used at first to strike the ball), and Old French rachette , rasquette , carpus, tarsus.] [ Written also racquet .]
1. A thin strip of wood, having the ends brought together, forming a somewhat elliptical hoop, across which a network of catgut or cord is stretched. It is furnished with a handle, and is used for catching or striking a ball in tennis and similar games.

Each one [ of the Indians] has a bat curved like a crosier, and ending in a racket .
Bancroft.

2. A variety of the game of tennis played with peculiar long-handled rackets; -- chiefly in the plural. Chaucer.

3. A snowshoe formed of cords stretched across a long and narrow frame of light wood. [ Canada]

4. A broad wooden shoe or patten for a man or horse, to enable him to step on marshy or soft ground.

Racket court , a court for playing the game of rackets.

Racket transitive verb To strike with, or as with, a racket.

Poor man [ is] racketed from one temptation to another.
Hewyt.

Racket noun [ Gael. racaid a noise, disturbance.]


1. Confused, clattering noise; din; noisy talk or sport.

2. A carouse; any reckless dissipation. [ Slang]

Racket intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Racketed ; present participle & verbal noun Racketing .]
1. To make a confused noise or racket.

2. To engage in noisy sport; to frolic. Sterne.

3. To carouse or engage in dissipation. [ Slang]

Racket noun A scheme, dodge, trick, or the like; something taking place considered as exciting, trying, unusual, or the like; also, such occurrence considered as an ordeal; as, to work a racket ; to stand upon the racket . [ Slang]

Racket-tail (-tāl`) noun (Zoology) Any one of several species of humming birds of the genus Steganura , having two of the tail feathers very long and racket-shaped.

Racketer (-ẽr) noun One who makes, or engages in, a racket.

Rackett (-ĕt) noun [ Etymol. uncertain.] (Mus.) An old wind instrument of the double bassoon kind, having ventages but not keys.