noun, often attributive
rab·bit | \ˈra-bət \
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 \ adjective


rabbiter noun

Examples of rabbit in a Sentence


We keep rabbits as pets.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An ant colony, a sloth, kangaroos, rabbits, lizards, pigs, crabs, wallabies and monkeys are among the critters American has been asked to transport. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "Smells, growls and disputes: AA urges DOT to allow only trained service dogs in airline cabins," 10 July 2018 In warmer months, there’s also a free petting zoo with native sheep, goats and rabbits, and pony rides on the herd of diminutive Gotlandsruss (20 kronor). Ingrid K. Williams, New York Times, "36 Hours in Gothenburg, Sweden," 10 May 2018 Nenu is known for its ftira, a semi-flat bread, and typical Maltese dishes such as pasta, fish and rabbit, or fenek, the national meat. Alice Short, latimes.com, "Savoring the multiple personalities of Malta," 8 Apr. 2018 Periodically, Caribbean Restaurant also offers oxtail, goat and rabbit, a reminder of the great bounty typical of this beleaguered island. Frank Cohen, courant.com, "Caribbean Restaurant, Meriden," 6 Mar. 2018 These camps, which are categorized by age, each have their own activities and allow campers to interact with shelter animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and domestic rats. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "It's time to register for summer camps. Here are 5 cool choices for your kids.," 23 Feb. 2018 The Houston pipeline company’s vice president of public affairs, attending the annual livestock auction, bid $4,700 on champion ducks, chickens and rabbits to support the schoolchildren who raised them. Katherine Blunt, San Antonio Express-News, "Building pipeline support, one chicken, lamb and goat at a time," 5 July 2018 All their stories involved possums and rabbits and bears. Marc Myers, WSJ, "A Pulitzer-Prize Winner Learned Storytelling in the Deep South," 3 July 2018 According to National Geographic, bobcats usually average at weights between 11 to 30 pounds and are nocturnal, solitary animals that normally hunt game such as rabbits and birds. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "Officials euthanize bobcat that attacked Bisbee man," 25 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to rabbit

rabbit on

Statistics for rabbit

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for rabbit

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

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More Definitions for rabbit



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 \

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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Comments on rabbit

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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