[ rab-it ]
/ ˈræb ɪt /


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.
a broad groove let into the surface of a board or the like; dado.

verb (used with object), rab·bet·ed, rab·bet·ing.

to cut a rabbet in (a board or the like).
to join (boards or the like) by means of a rabbet or rabbets.

verb (used without object), rab·bet·ed, rab·bet·ing.

to join by a rabbet (usually followed by on or over).

Nearby words

  1. rabato,
  2. rabaul,
  3. rabbah,
  4. rabban,
  5. rabbath ammon,
  6. rabbet joint,
  7. rabbet plane,
  8. rabbeting,
  9. rabbi,
  10. rabbin

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for rabbeting

British Dictionary definitions for rabbeting



/ (ˈræbɪt) /


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
a joint made between two pieces of timber using a rabbet

verb (tr)

to cut or form a rabbet in (timber)
to join (pieces of timber) using a rabbet

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 rabbeting



"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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for rabbeting


[ răbĭ-tĭng ]


The making of congruous stepwise cuts on apposing bone surfaces for firmly holding together a fractured bone.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.