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)

Other Words from rabbit


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


rabbiter noun

Examples of rabbit in a Sentence

Noun We keep rabbits as pets.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Others prefer chicken, rabbit, pork and snails, citing paella’s peasant roots. Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2021 Virginia opossum, cottontail rabbit, white-tail deer and coyote. Megan Rodriguez, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Nov. 2021 Pair with goulash or wild game such as rabbit, or even a blueberry tart dessert. Tom Mullen, Forbes, 31 Oct. 2021 There also were more unexpected findings, including rabbit, deer, opossum, raccoon and terrapin — which would later become synonymous with the Chesapeake region’s finest food offerings. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, 23 Sep. 2021 There’s musicians, there’s a rabbit who’s walking on wire, there’s jugglers. Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2021 In his interview, Shota says, the rabbit, which Sara is cooking, is the main element, and the smelt is there to support it from all directions. oregonlive, 7 May 2021 Broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper were flabbergasted at the sight of a full-grown, golden-colored rabbit in the stands, resting calmly in a man’s arms. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Apr. 2021 There is, maybe, something for a broadcast with a limitless remit and ample resources to find within the story of a writer and thinker who’s devoted his late career to diving down deeper and deeper rabbit holes. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 15 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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

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

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Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rabbit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbit. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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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 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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