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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019