- (UK, US) enPR: răb'it, IPA(key): /ˈɹæbɪt/
Audio ('a rabbit') (UK) (file) Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -æbɪt
- (General Australian, weak vowel merger) enPR: răb'ət, IPA(key): /ˈɹæbət/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Homophone: rabbet
From Middle English rabet, rabette, from Old French dialect (now found in French dialect as rabbotte, 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”). This word is akin to Middle Low German robbe, rubbe (“rabbit”), and the later Low German Rubbe (“seal”), West Frisian robbe (“seal”), Saterland Frisian robbe (“seal”), North Frisian rob (“seal”), borrowed into German Robbe (“seal”), but is of uncertain motivation; some imitative verb, maybe robben, rubben (“to rub”) is used here to allude to a characteristic of the animal.
- A mammal of the family Leporidae, with long ears, long hind legs and a short, fluffy tail.
- The pioneers survived by eating the small game they could get: rabbits, squirrels and occasionally a raccoon.
- 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], “The Old Punt: A Curious ‘Turnpike’”, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175, pages 19–20:
- Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill.
- (uncountable) The meat from this animal.
- (uncountable) The fur of a rabbit typically used to imitate another animal's fur.
- 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.
- (cricket) A very poor batsman; selected as a bowler or wicket-keeper.
- (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.
- bunny (hypocoristic, colloquial, pet name)
- bunny rabbit (hypocoristic, colloquial, pet name)
- coney, cony (dialect)
- (intransitive) To hunt rabbits.
- (US, intransitive) To flee.
- The informant seemed skittish, as if he was about to rabbit.
- (Britain, 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!
Perhaps a corruption of rabate.
- confound; damn; drat
- 1797, George Colman, The Heir at Law:
- LORD D. There, Dick, d'ye hear how the tutorer talks? oh rabbit it! he can ladle you out of latin by the quart;—and grunts greek like a pig.
- Nominative plural form of rabbi.