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 rabbit (audio) \ adjective


rabbiter noun

Examples of rabbit in a Sentence

Noun We keep rabbits as pets.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But in August 1960, one of Korolev's new generation of rockets lifted off with two dogs, 40 mice, a rabbit, a pair of rats, and a bottle full of fruit flies -- and this menagerie orbited Earth 18 times. Gregory Mcnamee, CNN, "This Soviet cosmonaut was the first human in orbit — fueling the space race," 12 Apr. 2021 But then, last May, a friend asked our family to pet-sit her new fluffy black Havana rabbit. Washington Post, "I never liked animals. Then I got a pandemic pet bunny.," 2 Apr. 2021 Reames went down many internet rabbit holes to get to the essence of how much the promotional character had been misused. Christopher Mosley, Dallas News, "Artist Josh Reames reflects on the internet at its worst in ‘Reclaiming the Moon’," 3 Mar. 2021 Domestic rabbit keepers are encouraged to keep cages clean and not release domestic rabbits into the wild. Matt Wyatt, ExpressNews.com, "Hunters’ help is sought in rabbit virus outbreak," 10 Dec. 2020 Korn’s contributions to the show are candles in the shape of a bear, a mouse, a rabbit, a cow, and burning fireplace logs. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Goodnight Moon Candles, Puffy Tableware, And Other Things I Liked This Week," 12 Mar. 2021 These algorithms detect that and reinforce it, selecting content that sends us down increasingly negative rabbit holes. Time, "Disinformation Is Among the Greatest Threats to Our Democracy. Here Are Three Key Ways to Fight It," 5 Mar. 2021 Individuals will be able to bring their personal camera or phone to snap selfies and photos with the renowned rabbit until Saturday, April 3. Kari Barnett, sun-sentinel.com, "Get out your baskets, egg hunts are back in Broward, Palm Beach," 11 Mar. 2021 And it’s a character who seems as divorced from reality as a pet rabbit who got into a stash of edibles. Brian Moylan, Vulture, "Summer House Recap: Birthday Guuuurrrrlllll," 4 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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, "The Ultimate Hunting Gift Guide for Women," 18 Nov. 2020 Writing for Citius Mag, former University of Oregon runner Daniel Winn explains how to effectively rabbit a race. oregonlive, "The UO men enter this week’s NCAA Indoor Championships ranked third: Oregon track & field rundown," 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, "Volcano rabbit," 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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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

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Rabbit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabbit. Accessed 21 Apr. 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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