One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
- variant spelling of rack (sense 1 of the verb)
On the complicated relationship between wrack and rack, see rack
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.
- ‘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.’
- ‘We are still finding out where wig wrack grows, we have 70+ confirmed sites in Scotland so far and four in Northern Ireland.’
- ‘Deposited wrack may decompose in place or may be removed by subsequent tides leaving an unvegetated patch of bare soil.’
- ‘People come to pick over the beach wrack for the coiled, weather-revealed shells.’
- ‘Isopods and amphipods spend low tide buried in wrack, where variation in temperature and humidity is strongly damped relative to the exposed intertidal surface.’
- ‘Saw wrack is the main seaweed used, taken fresh from the shore, washed in seawater and stored briefly.’
- ‘However, McLachlan and McGwynne quantified algal wrack as a nitrogen source for beaches as a whole.’
- ‘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.’
Early 16th century: apparently from wrack; compare with varec.
- variant spelling of rack
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.’
- 1.1mass noun Wreckage.
- ‘The discovery of a fishing lure is always a thrill, a karmic giveback for all the lures Ive lost, a present poking out of the wrack and flotsam, given away by the attached rat's nest of mono filament.’
- ‘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.’
Late Middle English: from Middle Dutch wrak; related to wreak and wreck.
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