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  • Traditional
 
Idiom
rack one's brains
cudgel one's brains
 
 
Meaning
think very hard about something
 
 
Usage
He's been racking his brains about this difficult topic, but he has not been able to come up with a solution.
 
 
Usage
I have been racking my brains trying to remember where I put the remote control.
 
 
Story
The term rack one's brains alludes to the rack that is an instrument of torture, on which the victim's body was stretched until the joints were broken.
 
 
Story
The expression cudgel one's brains uses cudgel in the sense of beat with a cudgel, a cudgel being a short thick stick.
 
 
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