synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of rabbit in English

English Online Dictionary. What means rabbit‎? What does rabbit mean?



  • (UK, US) enPR: răb'it, IPA(key): /ˈɹæbɪt/
  • Rhymes: -æbɪt
  • (General Australian, weak vowel merger) enPR: răb'ət, IPA(key): /ˈɹæbət/
  • Homophone: rabbet

Etymology 1

From Middle English rabet, rabette, from Anglo-Latin rabettus, from dialectal Old French rabotte, probably a diminutive of Middle Dutch or West Flemish robbe (rabbit, seal), of uncertain origin; possibly some imitative verb, maybe robben, rubben (to rub) is used here to allude to a characteristic of the animal. See rub.

Related forms include Middle French rabouillet (baby rabbit) and in French rabot (plane)), coming via Walloon Old French (reflected nowadays as Walloon robète (rabbit)), from Middle Dutch robbe ("rabbit; seal"; whence Modern Dutch rob (seal", also "rabbit)); also Middle Low German robbe, rubbe (rabbit), and the later Low German Rubbe (seal), West Frisian robbe (seal), Saterland Frisian Rubbe (seal), North Frisian rob (seal), borrowed into German Robbe (seal).

Meant "young rabbit" until the 19th c., when it came to replace the original general term coney, owing to the latter's resemblance to and use as a euphemism for cunny, "vulva" (compare ass and donkey).


rabbit (countable and uncountable, plural rabbits)

  1. A mammal of the family Leporidae, with long ears, long hind legs and a short, fluffy tail.
  2. (uncountable) The meat from this animal.
  3. (uncountable) The fur of a rabbit typically used to imitate another animal's fur.
  4. A runner in a distance race whose goal is mainly to set the pace, either to tire a specific rival so that a teammate can win or to help another break a record; a pacesetter.
  5. (cricket) A very poor batsman; selected as a bowler or wicket-keeper.
  6. (computing theory) A large element at the beginning of a list of items to be bubble sorted, and thus tending to be quickly swapped into its correct position. Compare turtle.
  7. Rarebit; Welsh rabbit or a similar dish: melted cheese served atop toast.
  8. A pneumatically-controlled tool used to insert small samples of material inside the core of a nuclear reactor.
    • 2012, Joseph Cerny, Nuclear Spectroscopy and Reactions 40-A (part 1, page 249)
      This rabbit is constructed such that only that fraction of the beam that passes through the 15g-in. diameter target container reaches the Faraday cup behind the rabbit.


  • bunny (hypocoristic, colloquial, pet name)
  • bunny rabbit (hypocoristic, colloquial, pet name)
  • coney, cony (dialect)
  • fluffle
  • bunny rabbit
  • jackrabbit
Derived terms


rabbit (third-person singular simple present rabbits, present participle rabbitting or rabbiting, simple past and past participle rabbitted or rabbited)

  1. (intransitive) To hunt rabbits.
  2. (US, intransitive) To flee.
  • (to flee): run off, scamper, bolt

See also

Etymology 2

From Cockney rhyming slang rabbit and pork, to talk.


rabbit (third-person singular simple present rabbits, present participle rabbiting, simple past and past participle rabbited)

  1. (British, intransitive) To talk incessantly and in a childish manner; to babble annoyingly.
    Synonym: rabbit on
    Stop your infernal rabbiting! Use proper words or nobody will listen to you!
    • 1941 They Die with their Boots On, Gerald Kersh, William Heinemann Ltd., London.
      To Barker, a row is a Bull-an'-a-Cow, a suit is a Whistle or Whistle-an'-flute, a kid is a Gord-Forbid ; a car is a Jam , or Jam-Jar ; talk is 'Rabbit , or Rabbit-an'-Pork ; beer is Pig's-Ear … and so on, up and down the language
  • (to talk incessantly and childishly): babble, blather, prattle; see also Thesaurus:prattle
Derived terms
  • rabbit on
  • don't half rabbit

See also

  • chew the fat
  • chew the cud (British)
  • shoot the breeze (US)

Etymology 3

Perhaps a corruption of rabate.



  1. Confound; damn; drat.




  1. nominative plural of rabbi


  • barbit



rabbi +‎ -t


  • IPA(key): [ˈrɒbːit]
  • Hyphenation: rab‧bit



  1. accusative singular of rabbi

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