noun, often attributive
rab·​bit | \ ˈra-bət How to pronounce rabbit (audio) \
plural rabbit or rabbits

Definition of rabbit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of a family (Leporidae) of long-eared short-tailed lagomorph mammals with long hind legs:
a : 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
b : hare
2 : the pelt of a rabbit
4a : a figure of a rabbit sped mechanically along the edge of a dog track as an object of pursuit
b : a runner in a long-distance race who sets a fast pace for the field in the first part of the race


rabbited; rabbiting; rabbits

Definition of rabbit (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from rabbit


rabbity \ ˈra-​bə-​tē How to pronounce rabbity (audio) \ adjective


rabbiter noun

Examples of rabbit in a Sentence

Noun We keep rabbits as pets.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There was an avant-garde one with Elizabeth Falkner, who served platters of spicy Sichuan rabbit heads complete with instructions on how to crack the skulls. Gabrielle Hamilton, New York Times, "This French Onion Tart Is a Straight-Up Classic," 4 Nov. 2020 The animals are easy prey: Fur hunters can scoop the rabbit-sized rodents by hand from their shallow dens, Ortega said. Popular Science, "How 25 chinchillas could save a mountain," 20 Oct. 2020 Youth competitions include meat pen rabbits, breeding rabbit/cavy, and llama and alpaca shows. Marcy De Luna, Chron, "Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo announces plans for 2021 Livestock Show," 5 Nov. 2020 The pellets, which are made from compressing hardwood sawdust, resemble rabbit food pellets. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "Smoking meat made easy: Traeger grill lets you concentrate on the meat, not the fire," 29 Oct. 2020 On Monday, a firefighter was seen picking up an injured rabbit under a smoky freeway overpass. Alex Sundby, CBS News, "Firefighters rescue little owl from Southern California's Silverado Fire," 28 Oct. 2020 Radicalization pipelines on social platforms such as YouTube can lead down rabbit holes of videos designed to recruit young people, radicalize them, and inspire them to commit real-world violence. Avriel Epps-darling, The Atlantic, "How the Racism Baked Into Technology Hurts Teens," 24 Oct. 2020 It is composed of four buildings on 6.9 acres on Ford Road which together can hold 70 pigs, 70 goats or lambs, 20 poultry and rabbit pens, and 24 cattle, according to the press release. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Humble ISD hosts ground breaking to replace flood-prone Kingwood Ag Barn," 17 Oct. 2020 Trump then squeezed them like some python devouring a sacrificial rabbit. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Donald Trump delivers football, humiliation to Big Ten," 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Writing for Citius Mag, former University of Oregon runner Daniel Winn explains how to effectively rabbit a race. oregonlive, "The UO men enter this week’s NCAA Indoor Championships ranked third: Oregon track & field rundown," 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, "Volcano rabbit," 23 Jan. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of rabbit


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1846, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rabbit


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

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Time Traveler for rabbit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for rabbit

Last Updated

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rabbit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbit. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for rabbit


How to pronounce rabbit (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of rabbit

: a small animal that usually lives in holes in the ground and has long ears, soft fur, and back legs that are longer than its front legs
: the fur or meat of a rabbit


rab·​bit | \ ˈra-bət How to pronounce rabbit (audio) \

Kids Definition of rabbit

: a short-tailed mammal that has soft fur and long ears and hind legs and digs burrows

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