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 Description The tiny rabbits weigh about a pound fully grown. National Geographic, "Volcano rabbit," 23 Jan. 2020 Entering the Cave of the Blue Sun was like Alice following the rabbit down the hole into Wonderland. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Ancient desert cave as grand as any cathedral," 5 Oct. 2019 Portland police and Multnomah County Animal Services seized 52 animals -- including dogs, cats, rabbits and turtles -- from Diaz-Caceres’ home near Southeast 70th Avenue and Flavel Street in March 2018. oregonlive, "Portland woman sentenced to psychological help after more than 52 pets seized," 4 Oct. 2019 James found beauty in nature and wildlife, often commenting about the cute wild rabbits and adoring his relatives' pets. courant.com, "James Curtis Robacker," 22 Sep. 2019 The big lug was out there running quick slants, a buffalo among the rabbits. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Royce Freeman on being Broncos’ “complete” running back: “I can’t settle for anything less.”," 20 Sep. 2019 The rabbits' owner contacted AHS through its Pet Resource Center, which aims to educate and assist pet owners. Maureen Bohannon, azcentral, "Dozens of rabbits up for adoption after 'overwhelmed' asks to turn in nearly 50 to Arizona Humane Society," 10 June 2019 Behind the $200 headset and the dating app and the bunny rabbit AR filters exists a company that is working frantically to not just keep up but actually lead on things like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced optical displays. Wired Staff, WIRED, "The Virtual Insanity of F8," 4 May 2018 The film is in 3-D, though the rabbit-sized mollusks don’t take kindly to the blue and red glasses, says Trevor Wardill, a visual ecologist at the University of Minnesota. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Velcroed 3-D Glasses to Cuttlefish to Study Their Depth Perception," 8 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

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rabbit.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbit. Accessed 26 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on rabbit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rabbit

Spanish Central: Translation of rabbit

Nglish: Translation of rabbit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rabbit for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rabbit

Comments on rabbit

What made you want to look up rabbit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

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