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lab rat

[ lab-rat ]
/ ˈlæb ˌræt /
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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.

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Origin of lab rat

First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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