rab·​bet | \ ˈra-bət How to pronounce rabbet (audio) \

Definition of rabbet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a channel, groove, or recess cut out of the edge or face of a surface especially : one intended to receive another member (such as a panel)


rabbeted; rabbeting; rabbets

Definition of rabbet (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to unite the edges of in a rabbet joint
2 : to cut a rabbet in

intransitive verb

: to become joined by a rabbet

Examples of rabbet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then set the plywood pieces down into the rabbets and secure with glue and nails. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "Three Ways to Build Your Own Shelves," 24 Jan. 2019 The box's top and bottom panels rest in rabbets cut into the sides and front, which are mitered at the front corners. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build Floating Shelves (With Plans!)," 16 Mar. 2015 If the lid is too tight to slide, adjust the rabbet, not the groove, using the table saw (width) or sandpaper (height). Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build a Simple Pencil Box," 31 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Crosscut the lid to 12 inches to remove any roughness on the ends created by rabbeting. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How To Build a Simple Pencil Box," 31 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rabbet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of rabbet


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for rabbet


Middle English rabet, perhaps from Middle French rabat act of forcing down, from Old French rabattre to force down, fold over, reduce — more at rebate

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Dictionary Entries near rabbet





rabbeted lock


rabbet joint

Statistics for rabbet

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Time Traveler for rabbet

The first known use of rabbet was in the 14th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on rabbet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rabbet

Comments on rabbet

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something desired as essential

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