Definition of rack (or wrack) one's brains (or brain) in US English:

rack (or wrack) one's brains (or brain)

phrase

  • Make a great effort to think of or remember something.

    • ‘I walk towards him, wracking my brains to remember how I know him, or at the very least, a name.’
    • ‘Quite frankly, I had to rack my brains to remember my first kiss.’
    • ‘I was wracking my brain this morning to remember his name.’
    • ‘But eventually the day was at an end… and I had to rack my brains to remember where the car was.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, a lot of the details dissolved from my memory as soon as I got up, and I've been wracking my brain trying to remember exactly what was going on.’
    • ‘He racked his brain, trying to remember, but couldn't.’
    • ‘I'm racking my brains as best I can but I can't remember any meetings.’
    • ‘She racked her brain to remember if she had met anyone with that name.’
    • ‘You're wracking your brains to try and remember Alan's wonderful effort now, aren't you?’
    • ‘I racked my brains but, oddly enough, I couldn't remember a single one.’
    think hard, put one's mind to something, give much thought to something, concentrate, try to remember, puzzle over something, cudgel one's brains, furrow one's brow
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