(redirected from go to rack and ruin)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to go to rack and ruin: wrack and ruin

RACK, punishments. An engine with which to torture a supposed criminal, in order to extort a confession of his supposed crime, and the names of his supposed accomplices. Unknown in the United States.
     2. This instrument, known by the nickname of the Duke of Exeter's daughter, was in use in England. Barr. on the Stat. 866 12 S. & R. 227.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
IF it is any consolation Russel Starr (Telegraph, May 1), Cannon Park isn't the only place afflicted by greedy landlords who buy up properties then allow them to go to rack and ruin because they won't spend time or money on the upkeep or supervise their tenants.
Ward Cllr Jan Clein said: "This property should have been taken back, it's not been looked after and I think they have allowed it to go to rack and ruin so they can turn round now and say 'Look at the state of this place, something needs doing'."
BIRMINGHAM'S leisure chief has slammed his Labour predecessors for letting the much-loved Muhammed Ali Centre go to rack and ruin.