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rab·​bit ˈra-bət How to pronounce rabbit (audio)
plural rabbit or rabbits
often attributive
: any of a family (Leporidae) of long-eared short-tailed lagomorph mammals with long hind legs:
: any of various lagomorphs that are born furless, blind, and helpless, that are sometimes gregarious, and that include especially the cottontails of the New World and a small Old World mammal (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that is the source of various domestic breeds
: hare
: the pelt of a rabbit
: a figure of a rabbit sped mechanically along the edge of a dog track as an object of pursuit
: a runner in a long-distance race who sets a fast pace for the field in the first part of the race
rabbity adjective


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rabbited; rabbiting; rabbits
rabbiter noun

Example Sentences

Noun We keep rabbits as pets.
Recent Examples on the Web
The bill defines a covered animal as a coyote, beaver, bobcat, fox, mink, muskrat, otter, rabbit, skunk or weasel. Steven Hill, Field & Stream, 21 Mar. 2023 Though Tubi aired a more conventional ad during the Super Bowl -- featuring people in life-size rabbit costumes tossing hapless humans into a huge rabbit hole to hype Tubi’s content -- the shorter ad really snapped viewers to attention. oregonlive, 7 Mar. 2023 The goddess's animal symbol was a rabbit, which have long traditionally stood for fertility due to their high reproduction rates. Hannah Jeon, Good Housekeeping, 9 Feb. 2023 This decadent rabbit, made of pralines, hazelnuts, and Italian dulce, will every chocolate lover—old and young—hopping for joy. Meg Donohue, Town & Country, 3 Feb. 2023 Zydeco music will fill the air as a band of animals, including an otter, a rabbit, a raccoon, a beaver, and more, make music with objects plucked from the immersive environment. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 23 Jan. 2023 According to the legend, the animals crossed a rapidly-flowing river to get to the finish line in the following order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Time, 20 Jan. 2023 Since 2023 is the year of the rabbit (which represents creativity and luck) in the Chinese zodiac calendar, bunny gifts will be the most popular to give and receive. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Jan. 2023 The Facebook Papers, the studies showing the negative impact on teens’ mental health, the algorithms that drove rage and rabbit-hole radicalization into conspiracy theories. Nikki Baird, Forbes, 10 Jan. 2023
Researchers have found changes to rabbit brains that may explain why your pet bunny is so snuggly. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 27 June 2018 But more than just links to click or rabbit holes to follow, Bagley also got some actual leads on bikes after making her post. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Aug. 2022 Try anything from pork to rabbit on a spit, or go all out with a steak. Julia Buckley, Travel + Leisure, 7 July 2021 From about $110 a night, alpiccoloscoglio.it Eating There Ristorante la Cucina di Nonna Nina, near San Rocco Church, is an unpretentious trattoria dedicated to Ligurian classics such as fish ravioli and rabbit with olives and pine-nuts. Adam H. Graham, WSJ, 28 May 2021 The hood and shoulders are reinforced with durable, water-repelling fabric, which comes in handy for late-season upland or rabbit hunts. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, 18 Nov. 2020 Writing for Citius Mag, former University of Oregon runner Daniel Winn explains how to effectively rabbit a race. oregonlive, 9 Mar. 2020 One study concludes that rising temperatures will drive the volcano rabbits higher into the mountains, perhaps by 2,300 feet over the next century, further shrinking their range. National Geographic, 23 Jan. 2020 See More

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

Word History



Middle English rabet, probably from Middle French dialect (Walloon) robett, from obsolete or dialect Dutch robbe, robbeken; probably akin to Middle Low German robbe seal, East Frisian rubben to scratch, rub — more at rub

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1846, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near rabbit

Cite this Entry

“Rabbit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbit. Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural rabbit or rabbits
: any of various small burrowing mammals with long ears and short tails that differ from the related hares especially in being born with the eyes closed and without fur
also : the pelt of a rabbit
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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