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 Before cutting the shelf pieces to their exact lengths, cut a notch, or rabbet, into the top and bottom of the 2x4 to accommodate your plywood—that’s 1⁄4-in. Shara Mccuiston, Popular Mechanics, 10 July 2021 Join all base parts and rout the rabbet for the screen; staple the screen in place. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 17 Apr. 2021 Run the board through on each side to create the rabbet on both the top and the bottom. Shara Mccuiston, Popular Mechanics, 10 July 2021 Double check your plywood fits into this rabbet and repeat any cuts as needed to adjust. Shara Mccuiston, Popular Mechanics, 10 July 2021 Cut a matching rabbet on one end of each table support to fabricate a half-lap joint [5]. Ted Kilcommons, Popular Mechanics, 12 June 2021 On the other end of each table upright, use a table saw with a dado stack to cut a rabbet ¾ in. Ted Kilcommons, Popular Mechanics, 12 June 2021 Use dado blades in the table saw to cut a 1/4-inch-wide x 1/2-inch-deep rabbet in the strip's edge. Neal Barrett, Popular Mechanics, 14 Nov. 2020 Square the corners of the rabbet by carefully chopping down with a sharp chisel, and then glue in the bottom. Richard Romanski, Popular Mechanics, 29 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Start by cutting the dados and rabbets slightly too narrow and testing the fit. David Kaleko, Popular Science, 27 Jan. 2020 Crosscut the lid to 12 inches to remove any roughness on the ends created by rabbeting. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 31 Aug. 2018 See More

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.

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

Learn More About rabbet

Time Traveler for rabbet

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near rabbet



rabbeted lock

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rabbet

Cite this Entry

“Rabbet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbet. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!