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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 The discovery also unearthed an assortment of jugs and dishes, a bronze coin, along with dishes of chicken, rabbit and another animal believed to be a lamb or goat, likely offerings to sustain them in the afterlife. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Construction Workers Find Rare Intact Roman Tomb," 13 June 2018 Other animals, like rats, rabbits and chipmunks can then become infected when fleas move on from an infected animal. Anna Gunther, CBS News, "Idaho boy recovering from rare case of plague," 13 June 2018 What better way to improve a bizarre video game collaboration between a Rayman spinoff species of cartoony rabbits and the world of Super Mario than by adding more Nintendo characters? Andrew Webster, The Verge, "All the biggest news from Ubisoft at E3 2018," 11 June 2018 Rabbit sculptures in California wine country don't hold a candle to gigantic jack rabbits on the Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck, N.Y. latimes.com, "This roadside bunny led him down a rabbit hole," 15 Apr. 2018 Oliver’s book depicts the namesake of the vice president’s family pet rabbit falling in love with a boy bunny. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "'Will & Grace' creator to donate John Oliver's Marlon Bundo spoof book to Indiana’s elementary schools," 2 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rabbit

Phrases Related to rabbit

rabbit on

Statistics for rabbit

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rabbit

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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