on the rack


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on the rack

anxious, often because you are waiting for something or because people are asking you difficult questions You're left on the rack for three days waiting for the results from the hospital. Here was a respected politician being put on the rack (= asked a lot of difficult questions) by aggressive junior politicians.
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on the rack

Under great stress, as in I was on the rack while I waited for the test results. This expression, alluding to a medieval instrument of torture to which the victim was fastened and stretched, has been used figuratively since the late 1500s. Shakespeare had it in The Merchant of Venice (3:2): "Let me choose, for as I am I live upon the rack."
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on the rack

Under great stress.
See also: on, rack