rabbit hole

noun

: a complexly bizarre or difficult state or situation conceived of as a hole into which one falls or descends
I wanted to show this woman descending into the rabbit hole: this loss of self, becoming a servant to her job and to the work.Jessica Chastain
especially : one in which the pursuit of something (such as an answer or solution) leads to other questions, problems, or pursuits
While trying to find the picture again on Google, I fell down the Cosmo rabbit hole, scrolling through a gallery of swimwear, then through "How to Be Sexier-Instantly" and then through all 23 slides of "Sexy Ideas for Long Hair." Edith Zimmerman
Because it is so early on in this work it is easy to say that we are either at the edge of a remarkable new and useful science or that we are careering down an environmental rabbit hole. Jack Hitt
In the season-two premiere of HBO's Westworld, viewers were again tossed down a rabbit hole filled with theories, where one open door leads to many more closed ones. Josh Wigler and Zoe Haylock

Examples of rabbit hole in a Sentence

shoreline residents are finding themselves helplessly falling down a rabbit hole in their Sisyphean efforts to halt beach erosion
Recent Examples on the Web Clues lead them into the world of monsters and ultimately down the rabbit hole to Army officer Lee Shaw (played by Kurt Russell and Wyatt Russell), taking place in the 1950s and half a century later where Monarch is threatened by what Shaw knows. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Apr. 2024 Lauren Goode: That seems like of all the things to potentially fall down the rabbit hole on, a pretty virtuous one. Lauren Goode Michael Calore, WIRED, 4 Apr. 2024 These explainers will just lead you down a rabbit hole of even more explainers. Lawrence Hodge / Jalopnik, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 Coming from the comedy world themselves, the duo takes listeners down hilarious rabbit holes about pet peeves, dating dilemmas and life hacks. Emily Weaver, Peoplemag, 30 Mar. 2024 Television ‘The View’ hosts fell down the Kate Middleton ‘rabbit hole’ too. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar. 2024 Like Alice in Wonderland, embracing the rabbit hole means exploring at every turn. Ann Kowal Smith, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 Basically, the whole world fell down the rabbit hole. David Gilbert, WIRED, 26 Mar. 2024 Many of those who fell down the royal rabbit hole in recent days quickly replaced their social videos with apologies and best wishes. Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN, 23 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rabbit hole.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

from the rabbit hole that Alice enters in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland

First Known Use

1938, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rabbit hole was in 1938

Dictionary Entries Near rabbit hole

Cite this Entry

“Rabbit hole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbit%20hole. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!