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Related to go to rack and ruin: wrack and ruin
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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.

References in periodicals archive ?
This once fine building, once the home of Lindley mill owner John Sykes, has been allowed to go to rack and ruin since it was vacated by Kirklees staff four years ago.
BIRMINGHAM'S leisure chief has slammed his Labour predecessors for letting the much-loved Muhammed Ali Centre go to rack and ruin.
A LEADING cleric has blasted Ireland for squandering its wealth while letting the health service go to rack and ruin.