rack and ruin


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Related to rack and ruin: wrack and ruin

rack and ruin

Utter destruction or ruination; severe or total decay or degradation, as from disuse or lack of upkeep. "Rack" here is a variant spelling of "wrack," a now-archaic word meaning wreckage or destruction. Used especially in the phrase "go to rack and ruin." The rack and ruin of my grandfather's estate pains me greatly. If only we'd been able to afford for someone to look after it for all these years. The neighbor's property has really gone to rack and ruin lately. I'm thinking about filing a complaint with the neighborhood association!
See also: and, rack, ruin

wrack and ruin

Utter destruction or ruination; severe or total decay or degradation, as from disuse or lack of upkeep. ("Wrack," a now-archaic word meaning wreckage or destruction, is also often spelled "rack.") Used especially in the phrase "go to wrack and ruin." The wrack and ruin of my grandfather's estate pains me greatly. If only we'd been able to afford for someone to look after it for all these years. The neighbor's property has really gone to wrack and ruin lately. I'm thinking about filing a complaint with the neighborhood association!
See also: and, ruin, wrack

rack and ruin, gone to

Dilapidated and decayed. These words originally meant utter destruction and financial ruin, rack here being a variant of wreck (it was sometimes spelled wrack, showing the close association). The term, from the sixteenth century, no doubt owes its long life in part to alliteration. Today it is most often used of inanimate objects, such as a building or a business. In 1782 Elizabeth Blower doubled up on clichés, writing, “Everything would soon go to sixes and sevens, and rack and ruin” (George Bateman).
See also: and, gone, rack

rack and ruin

Completely destroyed. “Rack” is a variant of “wrack,” meaning “wreck.” Accordingly, something (or someone) that has gone to rack and ruin is totally devastated.
See also: and, rack, ruin
References in periodicals archive ?
Mick has had enough of Andy's lack of interest in the farm, which is going to rack and ruin, and hands in his notice.
He writes, 'It appears to many that the approach from those at the coast is too often one of 'let it go to rack and ruin, don't maintain or repair it, then no-one will want it, then we have a reason to demolish it'.'
Although the garden is set to close tomorrow, the general manager hinted that an '11th-hour meeting' to save the project from 'rack and ruin' could be in the offing.
Before you know it, everyone will start feeling the pinch, as inflation spreads like wildfire through the economy, bringing rack and ruin to a financial system that is already prostrate.
THE cash-strapped NHS is wasting millions of pounds every year by letting thousands of buildings go to rack and ruin.
(See "Avoiding rack and ruin," MMH, May 1996, p.29.)
Instead of moaning about it Kirklees should sort the George hotel out instead of letting it go to rack and ruin. The Saturday when the snow came I needed a room but could I get one?
So who is next to receive a multi-million pound prize while this country goes to rack and ruin? While hard-working, low-paid families go cap-in-hand to food banks, and pensioners who can't afford to heat their homes die of hypothermia.
Councillor Steve Walmsley of Thornaby Independents, was delighted work was due to start, saying: "The town hall has been going to rack and ruin for 40-odd years.
EMERGENCY repair work has this week started on a former mental hospital which was left in "rack and ruin" after a massive blaze.
IN response to Valerie Stephens' letter 'Rented homes going to rack and ruin' (May 5), I would like to take this opportunity to assure her, and other concerned members of the community, that we are doing all we can to try and ensure homes and garden areas that have fallen into disrepair are brought back up to an acceptable standard.
Now Mr Rae has said it is a disgrace that the birthplace of the huge historical icon has been left to fall to rack and ruin.
Ward Cllr Jan Clein said: "This property should have been taken back, it's not been looked after and I think they have allowed it to go to rack and ruin so they can turn round now and say 'Look at the state of this place, something needs doing'."
IT is scandalous that the Borough Theatre on Wallsend High Street, dark for many a long year, is being allowed to go to rack and ruin when it could be brought back to life as have many other old theatres around the country that continue to serve the public for a variety of tastes.
Vandalised cemeteries and graveyards left to go to rack and ruin have become a growing concern for clergy and the public alike.