[ rab-it ]
See synonyms for: rabbetrabbetedrabbeting 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.

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.

verb (used without object),rab·bet·ed, rab·bet·ing.
  1. to join by a rabbet (usually followed by on or over).

Origin of rabbet

1350–1400; Middle English rabet<Old French rabat, derivative of rabattre to beat back, beat down; see rebate1

Other words from rabbet

  • un·rab·bet·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with rabbet

Words Nearby rabbet

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use rabbet in a sentence

  • rabbet, rab′et, n. a groove cut in the edge of a plank so that another may fit into it.

  • rabbet these pieces sufficient to allow the art glass to set in on the back sides and be fastened—about 1/4 in.

    Mission Furniture | H. H. Windsor
  • For the outside rabbet, one piece 11 inch, 371/2 long; this nailed to the end of the box forms rabbet for the trays to rest on.

    The Apple | Various
  • The re-entering angle left upon the wood is called the rebate or rabbet.

    Handwork in Wood | William Noyes
  • There is a rabbet in their inside upper edge, to receive the hatches or gratings.

    The Sailor's Word-Book | William Henry Smyth

British Dictionary definitions for rabbet



/ (ˈræbɪt) /

  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

  1. to cut or form a rabbet in (timber)

  2. to join (pieces of timber) using a rabbet

Origin of 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