lab rat

[ lab rat ]
/ ˈlæb ˌræt /

Also called lab·o·ra·to·ry rat [lab-ruh-tawr-ee rat, lab-er-uh-] /ˈlæb rəˌtɔr i ˌræt, ˈlæb ər ə-/. a rat, typically the Norway rat, used by scientists for biological research.
Informal. a laboratory researcher, often a graduate student, whose dedication to the research supplants other interests and activities, including personal relationships: The loneliest guy in the room is the one who’s in love with a lab rat.
Informal. the subject of any sort of experiment: Not all the human lab rats in this study fully understood the potential consequences.

Origin of lab rat

First recorded in 1965–70 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020