"toothed tool for drawing or scraping things together," Old English raca "rake," earlier ræce, from Proto-Germanic *rak- "gather, heap up" (source also of Old Norse reka "spade, shovel," Old High German rehho, German Rechen "a rake," Gothic rikan "to heap up, collect"), from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule" (source also of Greek oregein "to reach, stretch out," Latin regere "direct, rule; keep straight, guide"). The implement is so called perhaps via its action, or via the notion of "implement with straight pieces of wood" [Watkins].
"debauchee, libertine; idle, dissolute person; one who goes about in search of vicious pleasure," 1650s, shortening of rakehell. Hogarth's "Rake's Progress" engravings were published in 1735. Generally of men but also used by 1712 of women of similar character.
mid-13c., raken, "clear (rubbish, grass, etc.) by raking; gather (grain) by raking," from rake (n.1), or from a lost Old English verb *racian, or from a similar Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse raka, Swedish raka, Danish rage "rake"). Of gunfire "to enfilade," from 1630s. Related: Raked; raking. To rake in money or something like it is from 1580s.
"wicked, dissolute wretch; thorough rascal," 1550s (1540s as an adjective), possibly an alteration (by association with rake (n.1) and Hell) of Middle English rakel (adj.) "hasty, rash, headstrong," which is probably from raken "to go, proceed," from Old English racian "to go forward, move, hasten," a word of unknown origin. But the verbal phrase rake Hell "go over (Hell) thoroughly" is attested by 1540s. Compare rakeshame (n.) "one who lives shamefully" (1590s).
also muckraker, c. 1600, "one who rakes muck" (earliest use is in a figurative sense: "a miser"), from muck-rake "rake for scraping muck or filth" (mid-14c.), from muck (n.) + rake (n.). The figurative meaning "one who inquires into and publishes scandal and allegations of corruption among political and business leaders" was popularized 1906 in speech by President Theodore Roosevelt, in reference to the "man ... with a Muckrake in his hand" in Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" (1684) who seeks worldly gain by raking filth.
The men with the muck-rakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society, but only if they know when to stop raking the muck. [T. Roosevelt, quoted in "Cincinnati Enquirer," April 15, 1906.]
Muck-rake (n.) in sense "person who hunts scandal" is attested from 1872. To muck-rake (v.) in the literal sense is from 1879; figuratively from 1910. Related: Muck-raking.
1706, of persons, also style or appearance, carriage, etc., "debauched, disreputable, having the manners or appearance of a libertine or idle and dissolute person," from rake (n.2) + -ish. Related: Rakishly; rakishness.
The meaning "smart, jaunty, dashing" (1824), at first of ships, is said to be a different word, from nautical rake "slant, slope" (1620s), used of the projection of the upper part of a ship's hull at stem and stern beyond the extremities of the keel, later especially in reference to any deviation from the vertical in a ship's masts. That word is of uncertain origin, perhaps from Scandinavian (compare Old Swedish raka "project, reach;" Danish rage "protrude, project") related to Old English reccan "stretch." "The piratical craft of former times were distinguished for their rakish build" [Century Dictionary].
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule."
It forms all or part of: abrogate; address; adroit; Alaric; alert; anorectic; anorexia; arrogant; arrogate; bishopric; correct; corvee; derecho; derogate; derogatory; Dietrich; direct; dress; eldritch; erect; ergo; Eric; Frederick; Henry; incorrigible; interregnum; interrogate; maharajah; Maratha; prerogative; prorogue; rack (n.1) "frame with bars;" rail (n.1) "horizontal bar passing from one post or support to another;" Raj; rajah; rake (n.1) "toothed tool for drawing or scraping things together;" rake (n.2) "debauchee; idle, dissolute person;" rakish; rank (adj.) "corrupt, loathsome, foul;" real (n.) "small Spanish silver coin;" realm; reck; reckless; reckon; rectangle; rectify; rectilinear; rectitude; recto; recto-; rector; rectum; regal; regent; regicide; regime; regimen; regiment; region; regular; regulate; Regulus; Reich; reign; resurgent; rex; rich; right; Risorgimento; rogation; royal; rule; sord; source; subrogate; subrogation; surge; surrogate; viceroy.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by:
Sanskrit raj- "a king, a leader," rjyati "he stretches himself," riag "torture" (by racking); Avestan razeyeiti "directs," raštva- "directed, arranged, straight;" Persian rahst "right, correct;" Latin regere "to rule, direct, lead, govern," rex (genitive regis) "king," rectus "right, correct;" Greek oregein "to reach, extend;" Old Irish ri, Gaelic righ "a king," Gaulish -rix "a king" (in personal names, such as Vircingetorix), Old Irish rigim "to stretch out;" Gothic reiks "a leader," raihts "straight, right;" Lithuanian raižytis "to stretch oneself;" Old English rice "kingdom," -ric "king," rice "rich, powerful," riht "correct;" Gothic raihts, Old High German recht, Old Swedish reht, Old Norse rettr "correct."
"scanning field," 1934 in electrical engineering, from German Raster "screen, frame," from Latin rastrum "rake," from rasum, from rodere "to scrape" (see rodent). Related: Rasterization; rasterize. From Latin form rastellum comes French râteau "rake," formerly ratel, originally rastel.
also moon-raker, "stupid or silly person," in England, a name traditionally given to Wiltshire people, 1787, from the stock joke about fools who mistook the reflection of the moon in a pond for a cheese and tried to rake it out. But as told in Wiltshire, the men were surprised trying to rake up kegs of smuggled brandy, and put off the revenuers by acting foolish. Compare moonshine. Related: Moonraking.