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


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rabbeted; rabbeting; rabbets

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to become joined by a rabbet

Examples of rabbet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
To install the bottom, use a router to cut a 3/8-inch wide by 1/2-inch deep rabbet around the inside of the bottom edge. Paul Steiner, Popular Mechanics, 24 Mar. 2023 Spread glue on the end rabbets, and clamp the pieces together. Paul Steiner, Popular Mechanics, 24 Mar. 2023 Historically, shiplap was used in the maritime industry to waterproof ships and keep them afloat due to the rabbet (grooves) cut in the top and bottom of the wood panels. House Beautiful, 6 May 2023 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
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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rabbet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near rabbet

Cite this Entry

“Rabbet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbet. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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