What does ‘rack up’ mean?
The idiom rack up means to acquire or accumulate a large amount of something, typically points, scores, or debts, through persistent effort or activity.
Mind-Blowing Meanings Revealed
The idiom "rack up" has several meanings and uses in American English. Firstly, "rack up" can mean to accumulate or gather something, often in large quantities. It is commonly used in the context of accumulating points or scores in a game or competition. For example, someone might say, "He scored twenty points in the first quarter of the basketball game." This usage suggests the idea of collecting or amassing something, like putting objects on a rack or shelf.
Secondly, "rack up" can also mean to accumulate debt, expenses, or losses. This usage emphasizes the idea of piling up or stacking, like putting items on a rack. For instance, someone might say, "She piled up thousands of dollars in credit card debt during her shopping spree." This conveys the notion of incurring or accumulating something negative or undesirable.
Another meaning of "rack up" is to achieve a high level of success or accomplishment. This usage implies reaching a notable or impressive level, like placing an item on a rack. For example, someone might say, "She achieved numerous awards for her outstanding performances." This suggests achieving recognition or acclaim for one's achievements.
Furthermore, "rack up" can also mean to accumulate a large amount of money or profit. This usage signifies the idea of gathering or amassing wealth, as if stacking it up on a rack. For instance, someone might say, "They were able to amass substantial profits from their business venture." This implies generating substantial financial gains or earnings.
The related idiom "run up" is similar to "rack up" in that it also means to accumulate or gather something. However, "run up" often indicates a faster or more rapid accumulation, like sprinting to reach a target. For example, someone might say, "He ran up a huge bill by buying extravagant items." This suggests accumulating expenses quickly or unexpectedly.
Similarly, the idiom "pile up" is another related term to "rack up" which conveys the idea of accumulating or gathering something, often in a haphazard or disorganized manner. It implies a large quantity of things being stacked together, like piling objects on top of each other. For instance, someone might say, "The dirty dishes have piled up in the sink." This indicates a growing number of unwashed dishes in an untidy manner.
On the other hand, the idiom "load up" is related to "rack up" in the sense that it also refers to accumulating or gathering something. However, "load up" specifically suggests filling or packing something with a large amount of items, like loading objects onto a vehicle. For example, someone might say, "We need to load up the car with groceries before we leave." This indicates the act of putting a significant amount of groceries into the car.
The idiom "rack and ruin" is another related term to "rack up" which conveys a sense of destruction or deterioration that has occurred over time. It usually refers to a place or a structure that has fallen into disrepair or ruins. For instance, someone might say, "The once beautiful mansion has fallen into rack and ruin." This indicates that the mansion has deteriorated significantly and is no longer in its original state of grandeur.
Finally, the idiom "build up" is related to "rack up" as it also suggests accumulating or gathering something. However, "build up" focuses more on the gradual process of accumulating or developing something over time. It implies a steady growth or improvement towards a specific goal or outcome. For example, someone might say, "He has been building up his savings account for years." This suggests that the person has been consistently adding to their savings over a period of time.
Overall, the idiom "rack up" has various meanings related to accumulation, whether it is points, debt, success, or money. It conveys the concept of amassing or collecting something, often in a noteworthy or significant manner. The different uses of this idiom offer a nuanced understanding of the ways in which it can be employed in everyday conversations.
Examples of how the idiom "rack up" can be used in a sentence:
- He managed to rack up a high score in the video game.
- The company was able to rack up significant profits this quarter.
- She racked up substantial credit card debt during her shopping spree.
More "Accumulate" idioms
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