• synonyms


See more synonyms for rabbet on Thesaurus.com
  1. a deep notch formed in or near one edge of a board, framing timber, etc., so that something else can be fitted into it or so that a door or the like can be closed against it.
  2. a broad groove let into the surface of a board or the like; dado.
Show More
verb (used with object), rab·bet·ed, rab·bet·ing.
  1. to cut a rabbet in (a board or the like).
  2. to join (boards or the like) by means of a rabbet or rabbets.
Show More
verb (used without object), rab·bet·ed, rab·bet·ing.
  1. to join by a rabbet (usually followed by on or over).
Show More
Also rebate.

Origin of rabbet

1350–1400; Middle English rabet < Old French rabat, derivative of rabattre to beat back, beat down; see rebate1
Related formsun·rab·bet·ed, adjective
Can be confusedrabbet rabbit rarebit rebate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rabbet

laceration, wound, trench, shave, slice, rip, slash, carve, curtail, divide, gash, cut, indent, incision, scratch, indenture, gap, nick, score, cleft

Examples from the Web for rabbet

Historical Examples of rabbet

  • It also fits into a rabbet on the upper back side of the shelf.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • In an end-lap joint on rabbeted pieces the joint must be adapted to the rabbet.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • Set the fence and the stop at the desired width and depth of the rabbet.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • The rabbet should therefore be plowed before the joint is made.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes

  • The sinking a rabbet in the dead-wood, wherein the heels of the timbers rest.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

British Dictionary definitions for rabbet



  1. a recess, groove, or step, usually of rectangular section, cut into a surface or along the edge of a piece of timber to receive a mating piece
  2. a joint made between two pieces of timber using a rabbet
Show More
verb (tr)
  1. to cut or form a rabbet in (timber)
  2. to join (pieces of timber) using a rabbet
Show More

Word Origin for rabbet

C15: from Old French rabattre to beat down
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rabbet


"rectangular groove cut out of the edge of a piece of wood or stone so that it may join by lapping with others," late 14c., from Old French rabat "a recess in a wall, a lower section," literally "a beating down," a back-formation from rabattre "to beat down, beat back" (see rebate (v.)). The verb is attested from mid-15c. (implied in rabetynge).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper