rabbit hole

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:
English Wikipedia has an article on:


Extended senses reference Alice in Wonderland, where Alice travels down a rabbit hole into a bizarre world.


rabbit hole (plural rabbit holes)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see rabbit,‎ hole. (The entrance to) a rabbit warren or burrow.
    • 1866, Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland[1]:
      The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well. Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next.
  2. (usually with "the") A bizarre world, where everyday rules do not apply, or a way into such a world.
    These mushrooms will take you down the rabbit hole, man.
    • 1999, Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus, The Matrix, written by The Wachowskis, 0:29:05 from the start:
      You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
    • 2012, Linda Hoy, The Effect[2], John Hunt Publishing, →ISBN:
      Tumbling down the rabbit hole, she encountered a whole new level of existence where the laws of physics were turned upside down, shaken inside out and taken to the cleaners.
  3. A time-consuming tangent or detour, often from which it is difficult to extricate oneself.
    • 2017, Judith Aston, ‎Sandra Gaudenzi, ‎Mandy Rose, I-Docs: The Evolving Practices of Interactive Documentary (→ISBN):
      My point is not to go down the rabbit hole of deconstructing the term documentary, [...]