Main definitions of wrack in English

: wrack1wrack2wrack3wrack4

wrack1

verb

  • variant spelling of rack

Usage

On the complicated relationship between wrack and rack, see rack

Pronunciation:

wrack

/rak/

Main definitions of wrack in English

: wrack1wrack2wrack3wrack4

wrack2

noun

  • [mass noun] Any of a number of coarse brown seaweeds which grow on the shoreline, frequently each kind forming a distinct band in relation to high- and low-water marks. Many have air bladders for buoyancy.

    • ‘Saw wrack is the main seaweed used, taken fresh from the shore, washed in seawater and stored briefly.’
    • ‘The May scallach, coincident with the week between the full moon and the last quarter, brought one of the greatest yields of wrack of every description and species to the beach at Enniscrone.’
    • ‘Isopods and amphipods spend low tide buried in wrack, where variation in temperature and humidity is strongly damped relative to the exposed intertidal surface.’
    • ‘People come to pick over the beach wrack for the coiled, weather-revealed shells.’
    • ‘Deposited wrack may decompose in place or may be removed by subsequent tides leaving an unvegetated patch of bare soil.’
    • ‘We are still finding out where wig wrack grows, we have 70+ confirmed sites in Scotland so far and four in Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘Choose an unpolluted bit of rocky coast and collect a variety of weeds such as kelp and wrack (particularly Asophyllum nodosum), boil for 15 minutes and add to the bath water.’
    • ‘However, McLachlan and McGwynne quantified algal wrack as a nitrogen source for beaches as a whole.’

Origin

Early 16th century: apparently from wrack; compare with varec.

Pronunciation:

wrack

/rak/

Main definitions of wrack in English

: wrack1wrack2wrack3wrack4

wrack3

(also rack)

noun

  • A mass of high, thick, fast-moving cloud:

    ‘there was a thin moon, a wrack of cloud’
    • ‘High in the sky, a crescent moon rides through a wrack of cloud.’
    • ‘And there is blasting thunder in the night, and the soaking millionfooted rain, and one looks out at morning on a stormy sky, a broken wrack of cloud.’

Origin

Late Middle English: variant of rack.

Pronunciation:

wrack

/rak/

Main definitions of wrack in English

: wrack1wrack2wrack3wrack4

wrack4

noun

dialect, archaic
  • 1A wrecked ship; a shipwreck.

    • ‘They spent more time underwater then on the dry Egyptian land, saw lots of fish, some ship wracks, dived at night, into caves and at the end of it all got their Advanced Diver certification.’
    • ‘This ancient chart of the "Spanish wrack" as it is labeled, is owned by the present Duke of Argyll, and has been used by the modern treasure seekers who are unable even with its aid to find the remains of the Florencia, so deeply have her timbers sunk in the tide-swept silt of the bay.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun] Wreckage.
      • ‘Together, they collect flotsam and wrack that tell of shipwrecks, shifting undersea tectonic plates, the birth and death of sea creatures, their migrations and molts.’
      • ‘The discovery of a fishing lure is always a thrill, a karmic giveback for all the lures I’ve lost, a present poking out of the wrack and flotsam, given away by the attached rat's nest of mono filament.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Middle Dutch wrak; related to wreak and wreck.

Pronunciation:

wrack

/rak/