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  1. present participle of rat
    Don't go ratting to the police about what happened.


ratting (usually uncountable, plural rattings)

  1. (archaic) The blood sport of setting a dog upon rats confined in a pit to see how many he will kill in a given time.
    • 1993, Ronald H. Fritze, James Stuart Olson, Randy Roberts, Reflections on World Civilization: A Reader (volume 2, page 102)
      Henry Mayhew, the nineteenth-century chronicler of London's underworld, described the frenzied activity of one ratting contest. A terrier — the best of ratting dogs — was placed into a pit with 50 rats.
    • 2001, Colin D. Howell, Blood, Sweat and Cheers: Sport and the Making of Modern Canada
      Bear and bull baiting, dog fights, cockfighting, ratting, and other blood sports were attacked as un-Christian []
    • 2008, Rob Boddice, A History of Attitudes and Behaviours Toward Animals in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain (page 257)
      The RSPCA were well aware that ratting was legally ambiguous, and when they received a report of a conviction for ratting in Hull in 1868 they doubted the legality of it.
    • 2008, Benjamin G. Rader, Baseball: A History of America's Game (page 12)
      Such men usually satisfied their needs for leisure in the patronage of saloons or in such “blood” sports as cockfights or rattings.
    • 2012, Jan Bondeson, Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities:
      This was the pit for dog fights, cockfights and rat killing. [] At a time when ratting was largely frowned upon by respectable people in Britain, it gained considerable support in France []
  2. (uncountable) A vocation involving the pest control of rats, typically using a working terrier.
  3. Desertion of one's principles.
  4. Working as a scab, against trade union policies.

See also[edit]